Centers and Institutes

Rutgers Center on Public Security

Founded in 2002 and based at the School of Criminal Justice, the Rutgers Center on Public Security (RCPS) offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the academic study and practical application of ways in which democratic societies can effectively address crime, terrorism and other threats to public security. This involves, directly or indirectly, the prevention of, protection from, and response to natural or man-made events that could endanger the safety or security of people or property in a given area. In this regard, civilian defense agencies are increasingly looking to develop ways in which to improve decision making both from the standpoint of the leadership of these agencies and from the perspectives of line-level personnel. RCPS encourages this by supporting the integration, through intelligence led policing strategies, of wide ranging information sources into the strategic planning of the organization which can then be used for tactical purposes.

Primary objectives include the academic study of ways in which to facilitate more appropriate and timely risk assessments with innovative methods of data integration and information dissemination, including the use of GIS for criminogenic spatial modeling. Collaborating partners within the university include the Division of Global Affairs, the School of Law, and the College of Nursing. The Center has also included in its mandate an outreach component, coordinating discussions and consultations across academic, professional, corporate and governmental agencies.

RCPS is active in a number of different topic of interest including Parole, Risk-based policing, Surveillance, Crisis mapping, Community security, Global threat assessment, and Drug market violence. Over the years it has sponsored a number of conferences and symposia including:"Technology and Terrorism: Preparation and Response." (2003); "Social, Economic and Legal Consequences of Heightened Security" (2004); "Forum on Security and the Role of the Media" 2006 and "Private Security Concerns" (2007). This coming year (2009-2010) the center is involved in a series of programs on Risk Assessment through sponsorship of the Rutgers Academic Excellence Fund and the ROIC of the New Jersey State Police.

RCPS represents the Newark campus on the Rutgers University Homeland Security Initiative, is part of the statewide consortium on homeland security, and is represented on the Counter-terrorism Preparedness College of the State of New Jersey.

For more information on the Rutgers Center on Public Security, please visit our website at


RCPS Director
Leslie Kennedy, Ph.D.
University Professor
Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

RCPS Assistant Director
Joel M. Caplan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

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