Campus Police is a problem.
I’ve come into contact with the campus police several times over my two years at TCNJ. There has not been one time when the campus police has satisfactorily solved a problem. Instead, our campus police creates problems for the average TCNJ student. It is important to first set the groundwork by providing evidence that shows the incompetence and laziness of campus police.
My first experience with campus police was early freshman year when there was an act of vandalism by students in the my dorm. My friend reported this incident, and the campus police, after at least an hour, showed up at the hall office, visibly aggravated. The officer’s demeanor was one of a irritation. He first accused my friend who had reported the events for some ridiculous reason as being the vandal, and then proceeded to scold him. His attitude was as if he had been woken up by a nap, and did not think that writing all over the walls warranted his immediate attention. God forbid a TCNJ student isn’t ok with the destruction of property.
Sophomore year I was able to have a car on campus, but this unfortunately put me at greater contact with our diligent and ever-ready officers. Early in the year, I was ticketed twice for the same parking violation. That’s fine, an honest mistake. However in one of our many snow storms this year, I was making my way to Lot 6. I turned down the unplowed strip of road that connects Lot 6 to Metzger Drive. There is a stop sign for cars before a pedestrian walkway. I began to slow to a stop, however I felt my car skidding, so instead of jamming on the breaks in order to avoid the abundance of pedestrians wandering around Lot 6 in the snow, I eased into the lot, rolling by the stop sign…straight by a waiting police car. Of course, since it was the end of the month and the police has their quotas, the always polite officer had only this to say to my story while handing me my ticket: “I don’ want to give you advice on how to drive, but you should break earlier from now on.”
However my final story hopefully will convince you that the campus police is of no assistance to our student body. I open a bakery at 6:00 every Saturday and Sunday. Since I live in ABE, I trek across campus to Lot 6 to my car, often passing an officer in his car sleeping in Lot 3.
One morning recently, my car failed to start because I had left my lights on. So in desperation, I called campus police hoping for some help. I was told that I needed to come down to the office to get a box to jump start the car. I asked if someone could possibly bring it over. No. I asked if someone else could do it for me because I had never done it before. No. I asked if someone, possibly the officer sitting in the lot over, could show me how to do it. No. They provided the cables, I had to figure it out. I understood that at 5:30 AM they are busy ticketing, but I hoped that possibly they would sympathize with my plight. I had hoped that maybe, just maybe, campus police would take an interest in assisting a student with something other than draining his or her bank account.
Eventually I realized that this was just a dream, so I ran back to my car. I was unable to jump the car at first, so I called the officer back, hoping to get some advice. He warmly told me that if it didn’t work, that it wasn’t the battery, and that “he knew cars”, so I might as well give up now. So, I did. I called AAA and waited. While I was waiting I fiddled around with the plugs, and lo and behold, I was able to jump start the car. I joyfully sped off to return the box. I was all smiles, despite being over an hour late to work, when I approached the desk. I gleefully told the officer that I had successfully started the car. The officer had no reaction or response, and grabbed the box out of my hands, and walked away. I was in shock.
These stories are only the stories of one TCNJ student. I have spoke with many others who have similar stories: police cars almost running over students while speeding, and driving away, unconcerned with the pedestrian that he/she had almost hit; refusing to help a student on Green Lane during a snow storm, because it was off campus (despite the fact that other motorists have been chased down Pennington); and many other horror stories that there is not room to write here.
At best campus police is a nuisance. At worst they are a group of rude, unprofessional, and lazy men and women who should be severely reprimanded for their deplorable attitude toward students and the campus that they “protect”.
Please, I urge anyone who has shared similar experiences to complain, and not shut up until something is done. I am deeply offended that their bloated salaries are paid by our tuitions, taxes, and parking citations.