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Author Archives: Jeff Phillburn

TCNJ Campus Police Compliment or Complaint Report

The Office of Campus Police Services is dedicated to providing the best possible police service to the people it serves. Officers are carefully selected and receive extensive training to perform their duties in a fair, honest, impartial, and professional manner. If you feel strongly about the conduct of an officer, positively or negatively, please let us know. Your assistance helps the office maintain the integrity of the organization.

To submit a compliment or complaint you may:



  •  Call  

Call (609)-771-3124 for Captain Grant, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. After 5:00 p.m. leave a message. You will receive a return call during business hours from our office.


  • Speak with a Shift Supervisor

The shift supervisor will receive the pertinent information and have the investigating supervisor (Captain Grant or Lieutenant Lopez) follow up with the complainant within 5 business days.


  • E-mail Campus Police at


  • In person

Come to the TCNJPD office at 2000 Pennington Rd., Ewing, NJ 08628; Administrative Services Building, 104 Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.


  • Write to Interim Chief Grant 

TCNJ Campus Police

Administrative Services 104

The College of New Jersey

P.O. Box 7718

2000 Pennington Rd.

Ewing, NJ 08628

Fax: (609) 637-5195



TCNJ Campus Police Dispatcher Saves a Life

On March 24th, 2013 TCNJ Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST) Amy Podolski answered a 911 cell phone call that originated from Atlantic City, New Jersey. A woman had stopped breathing and her adult son was desperately requesting medical assistance. PST Podolski calmly walked the son through CPR while simultaneously sending emergency life support to their Vermont Avenue address. For 15 minutes, PST Podolski continued her steady instructions through the background distraction of the caller’s hysterically crying young nieces. When the victim’s breathing resumed, PST Podolski instructed her son to lay his mother on her left side. Her breathing stopped a second time and again PST Podolski coached the son to begin CPR under her direction until paramedics arrived on the scene. The victim was transported to the hospital and returned home later that evening. In speaking to Campus Police Captain Tim Grant, the son credited PST Podolski with saving his mother’s life. “That woman (Amy) who guided me saved my mother’s life. She told me everything I needed to do. I just want to thank her. She was wonderful.”

LionsSHARE Weekly News for April 8-14, 2013

College of New Jersey hosts active shooter training while students are on spring break

View the Slideshow >>                         TCNJ ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING GALLERY

CTNJ Active Shooter Training 3/12/2013

By Alyssa Mease/The Times of Trenton
on March 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated March 13, 2013 at 7:04 AM
EWING — Armed with modified guns loaded with soap bullets, a team of helmeted sheriff’s officers and campus police made their way up a staircase at The College of New Jersey, preparing to encounter a gunman, or at least someone playing one. They secured the stairs to the second floor of Bliss Hall and worked their way down the hallway toward a room where the sound of gunfire blared from a radio. They heard calls for help and pounding on the walls.“He’s shooting us!” a voice yelled from the room.“Hurry up!” another cried out.“Help!”Trailed by a State Police sergeant who was helping run the exercise yesterday morning, the officers approached a room at the end of the hall, checking empty classrooms and moving forward quickly as a team, just as they had been instructed.“We don’t have many advantages, because they know we’re coming,” Sgt. Chris Maskello told the officers.A man ran out from a classroom, screaming. He was unarmed, but in the confusion he was shot several times, red soap splattering on his sweatshirt.

The officers entered the room, finding several people sitting at desks and the killer crouched behind the teacher’s lectern, holding a rifle and clad in body armor. Yellow and red bullets flew across the room, taking down another two unarmed people and the killer.

The “active killer” simulations at TCNJ are being run by the State Police this week to prepare campus and Mercer County sheriff’s officers to respond to shootings in public areas like shopping malls and college campuses, State Police Sgt. Michael Ambrosio said. All officers in New Jersey must undergo such training, he said. It’s the second year the college has hosted the simulations.

New this year were GoPro cameras attached to helmets worn by the lead officer in each simulation and the troopers playing the killers. A college staffer also shot video of the simulations at same time. The footage was reviewed after the morning’s simulations ended.

“Going through this sort of thing prepares you for a circumstance you don’t ever want to deal with, and seeing the video element is great because you can critique the mistakes,” said college spokesman Matthew Golden, who was caught in the crossfire during one simulation as he lay motionless on the ground.

“They shot me when I was already dead,” he said.

Several State Police troopers also played the roles of innocent bystanders and killers armed with guns and body armor. All the participants were required to wear helmets and neck protectors, and encouraged to wear heavy clothing to avoid bruises from the soap bullets.

During the final simulation of the morning, a trooper acting as a bystander started playing a piano in the classroom, complaining loudly of cramped knuckles. As soap bullets flew he ducked out of the way, still playing his tune until the simulation ended.
A few minutes later, the officers watched the camera footage and had their performance reviewed by Maskello.

“We’re not here to bust anybody’s chops. We’re certainly not experts, but any critique is just that,” Maskello said. “You have to be confident in your abilities to get the job done.”

All of TCNJ’s campus police officers will go through the training sessions, Chief John Collins said.

“The idea is that if they have to do it in real life, they can react to it,” Collins said.
Ideally, schools would practice active killer drills with students the same ways they practice fire drills, so that students would know how to protect themselves in such situations, Ambrosio said.

“The guns are already out there. People need to know what to do,” he said.

As each simulation began, officers did not know how many active shooters or bystanders were involved or where in the building the shooting was taking place.

“You have to improvise and overcome because that’s how it is in real life,” Ambrosio said.

Each simulation required the sheriff’s officers and campus police to go from the first floor to the second and down the length of a hallway, verifying the safety of rooms as they went.

“It was very impressive, I think, for two organizations that haven’t worked together before. That’s a great job,” Ambrosio said.

In real-life dangerous situations, the college uses an alert system called Send Word Now to notify the campus community of threats, Golden said. It includes text message alerts, email, voice messages, a hotline and a message on the school’s website, Golden said.

“So we have always try to have a bunch of different systems in case one goes down,” Golden said.

The final day of training will be held at TCNJ today. Collins said he hoped the officers would use the experience as a learning tool.

“At the very least if practice is what you got out of it, you can’t ask for more than that,” Maskello said. “You can’t get enough of it.”

Contact Alyssa Mease at or (609) 989-5673.

The Times of Trenton: TCNJ honors nine officers for excellent police work

TCNJ honors nine officers for excellent police work

(To view original Times article on, click underlined title above)

Published: Monday, June 11, 2012, 8:00 AM
TCNJ Police 3.JPGDavid Karas/The TimesA TCNJ Campus Police vehicle is parked at the station on Sunday

Nine police officers at The College of New Jersey were honored for saving lives, catching crooks and investigating crimes during a ceremony in West Long Branch on Wednesday, the campus police department said.

The awardees recognized by the New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association included Sgt. Ray Scully and officer John Turner, who revived a female student who collapsed in a bathroom in October after injecting heroin, the college said in a news release.

Sgt. Michael Bell received an award for his dedication over his career. In 2009 he saved the life of a 6-year-old who had a severe allergic reaction and stopped breathing, and he revamped the department’s crime reporting, the release said.

Detective Christopher Russomanno, officers Bobby Villa and Julia Verwers, and Ewing officer Jeffrey Caldwell were recognized for catching a man who fled to a college parking deck after severely beating his girlfriend last June, police said. Villa was injured while arresting the man.

Russomanno and Verwers and Detective Matthew Norton of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office were also honored for their investigation of a reported sexual assault in late August that was found not to have occurred.

The association honored Sgt. C. Matthew Mastrosimone and officer Michael Sedwick for arresting a man allegedly attempting to shoplift $400 in textbooks from the campus bookstore. The man had prior arrests on four other state college campuses for similar offenses.

Russomanno and Bordentown Township Detective Salvatore Guido were recognized for their efforts in identifying a former TCNJ employee who used a campus-owned computer to commit identity theft.As part of the ceremony, TCNJ Police Chief John Collins was installed as president of the association for a one-year term.

Contact David Karas at (609) 989-5731 or

The Times of Trenton

Follow the Times of Trenton on Twitter.

Related topics: college-of-new-jersey, ewing


Campus security officer receives award for “Outstanding Performance” from ASIS International

Campus security officer receives award for “Outstanding Performance” from ASIS International

Posted on October 10, 2011 by TCNJ’s editorial staff0 Comments

TCNJ Security Officer Marcos Garcia received the award for “Outstanding Performance” from the world’s largest educational organization for security professionals, ASIS International (formerly the American Society for Industrial Security).

Garcia received the award at the Central Jersey Chapter of ASIS International’s annual Law Enforcement & Private Security Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Pierre’s Restaurant in Monmouth Junction.

According to Frank Halpin, chairperson of the chapter, this event offers the Central Jersey Chapter the opportunity to recognize those law enforcement and Security Professionals who have committed an act of valor, meritorious service, or have contributed to the enhancement of public/private sector cooperation during the past year.

“We are very proud of Officer Garcia’s selection for this award,” said John M. Collins, chief of police and director of campus security at TCNJ. “ASIS International is the preeminent professional organization in the security industry and Officer Garcia’s selection to be honored by the New Jersey Chapter is a testament to his dedication to duty and the professionalism and enthusiasm he brings to his job here at The College of New Jersey.”

According to Collins, Captain Tim Grant nominated Garcia for the award in recognition of Garcia’s distinguishing professionalism and volunteerism.

“Security Officer Garcia raised funds for The New Jersey Special Olympics and in June of 2011, participated in their annual Torch Run. Each year he takes part in the student versus campus police 3V3 Basketball Tournament. Security Officer Garcia provides physical security at the residence halls, provides safety escorts across campus, patrols larger events from the vantage of a Segway, and provides security for the entire campus on his bicycle patrol,” wrote Grant in his nomination.

“I thank God first for the opportunity that he gave me to be alive and in good health,” Garcia said in reference to his award. “I thank my bosses from Campus Police Department Chief Collins, Captain Grant and Lt. Lopez for supporting me 24/7, and thank my coworkers, security officers … as well as the other police officers and of course every student.”

2010 Award for Merit

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.

Safety association honors TCNJ police department


For Immediate Release

June 10, 2010

Safety association honors TCNJ police department

EWING, NJ … Ten members of The College of New Jersey’s police department are being recognized for outstanding service by a statewide authority.

The New Jersey College and University Public Safety Association (CUPSA) honored the College’s awardees at a ceremony in Long Branch on June 2. Awards include the Meritorious Service Medal nomination, received by Police Officer Claude Matthew Mastrosimone, and the Campus Career Award, received by Sergeant Joseph Skrajewski.

Eight department members were honored with the Life Saving award. Recipients include Sergeant Michael Bell, Sergeant Kevin McCullough, Sergeant Raymond Scully, Police Officer James Lopez, Police Officer Christopher Russomanno, Police Officer Lorenzo Shockley, Police Officer Patrick Taylor, and Public Safety Telecommunicator Amy Geddes.

TCNJ Campus Police establishes an early warning system (EW System)Read Memo
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