They've been using the internet since March to attend classes and submit coursework. It's also their go-to option for food delivery, banking and research. And now, students of Rutgers University have the opportunity to report crimes online — at least when the matter isn't urgent.

The university police department announced this week the launch of an online crime reporting service for those who've been the victim of or witnessed potential crimes within the Rutgers communities in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark.

Using an internet-enabled device, like a smartphone, members of the Rutgers community can run down all the details of an incident through the Rutgers Internet Police Reporting System, and those details will then be reviewed by a supervisor on the other end.

"This system is borne out the desire both to create a convenience for the community, as well as create some social distancing for the police officers," said Deputy Chief Michael Rein.

The department has tested online crime reporting over the past several months. The system is meant for non-emergent instances, Rein said. Reports involving a known suspect, evidence or injuries wouldn't be accepted and an officer would be needed to be dispatched in order to investigate those incidents.

These minor crimes are accepted by the system:

  • All thefts without suspect information, excluding firearms and materials threatening to public safety, such as explosives or highly toxic substances
  • Auto burglaries without suspect information
  • Burglaries without forced entry or suspect information
  • Attempted stolen vehicles without suspect information
  • Vandalism without suspect information (so long as it is not motivated by bias)
  • Annoying telephone calls without suspect information
  • Lost property reports
  • Fraudulent practices
  • Suspicious activity
  • Non-criminal incidents

Other crimes require direct communication, the police department said. Rutgers police in New Brunswick can be reached at 732-932-8407, in Camden at 865-225-6009, and in Newark at 973-353-5581.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.