2010 Award for Merit
Officer Matthew Mastrosimone of College of New Jersey Police Department
In the fall of 2008, as part of a new Community Policing initiative to enhance security and improve communication with students and staff in residence facilities, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) Campus Police created a new police assignment, Residential Education Liaison Officer. The stated purpose of this assignment is to patrol the campus residence facilities and function as the department’s primary liaison with Residence Education and Housing. It also assists the department’s Community Policing Sergeant in coordinating the activities of the unsworn security officers who patrol TCNJ’s student housing.
Officer Matthew Mastrosimone volunteered to be the first officer to perform this function. Using the above position description, Officer Mastrosimone has created the department’s most valuable Community Policing tool. Matt has forged relationships across departmental lines, and has been enthusiastically received by the students. He continues to look for new and creative ways to reach out to the campus community and strengthen the department’s bonds on campus.
• He is regularly approached by student groups, such as sororities, to provide crime prevention programs in residence hall lounges, and to become involved in student sponsored activities.
• Matt has taken it upon himself to organize activities such as police-student basketball games, police teams that compete in student fun activities, such as a full-size cardboard boat race, and police participation in educational events on campus such as TCNJ’s annual alcohol-free festival, “Lollanobooza.”
• In the summer of 2009, Matt received RAD training and began giving RAD classes in the residence lounges on weekends. He recently expanded his schedule of sessions for the spring semester to include weeknight classes on evenings that are known as “party nights”, to provide students with another healthy alternative on those nights.
• He worked tirelessly to promote a recent joint Campus Police – NJ State Police gang awareness presentation and was credited with motivating nearly one hundred students to attend.
• When the students left campus at the end of this academic year, they donated their used furniture to the needy through a new program called “Moving Forward, Giving Back”, sponsored by TCNJ’s Town And College Together (TACT) committee, and coordinated by Officer Mastrosimone.
Officer Mastrosimone’s initiative and enthusiasm exemplify Community Policing at its best.
He was nominated by Chief John Collins, College of New Jersey Campus Police.