Planet Princeton

Town Releases Chart: Princeton University Won’t Appeal Judge’s Decision in Public Records Case

Princeton University officials had until Wednesday to notify the court and the town of Princeton that the school intended to appeal a judge’s decision to release policing records to Planet Princeton.

The lawyer for the town released the public records to Planet Princeton today after not hearing from university officials yesterday.

Princeton released unredacted copies of a “schedule of responsibilities” that details how the Princeton University Public Safety Department and the Princeton Police Department share policing responsibilities on school property.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled earlier this month that the town must release the schedule. The chart details which police department is the primary responder and which is the secondary responder for lock outs, missing persons cases, sexual assaults, suicides, and other incidents on property owned by the school.

Jacobson ruled that a color-coded map that details which police department has jurisdiction over which campus properties is not subject to disclosure because of security concerns raised by school officials. School officials also opposed the release of the chart, but Jacobson said there was no risk in releasing the information. She reviewed both the map and chart in private.

The chart and map are part of agreements between the town and the university regarding police jurisdiction. In February, Planet Princeton filed a public records request seeking the policing agreements. The town denied the request altogether. Planet Princeton then filed a lawsuit, and the town withdrew its objections and released four agreements. Three of the agreements cover jurisdictional issues, and the fourth details how sexual assaults on campus or involving members of the school community will be handled by both departments.

Princeton University objected to the release of the map and the chart of responsibilities, and became an intervenor in the case. Some news outlets mistakenly reported that Planet Princeton sued the school. When the error was pointed out, one reporter claimed the difference was “beyond trivial.”

The lawyer for Planet Princeton, Walter Luers, will be entitled to legal fees from the town and the university in the case because the lawsuit triggered the disclosure of the agreements and the chart from the town.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • The Princeton Police and Public Safety are absolutely divided against each other. I am a witness to this in a number of cases. As far as I am aware, there is no oath-taking process for Public Safety that rises to the level of law. Since almost all of law depends upon the “raising of the participants to the degree that they will recognize the difference between right from wrong, and unlike Hamlet, not just say it’s a matter of thinking enough one way or the other, really anybody coming from the University can do pretty much what they want without fearing prosecution; and, they do! I’ve seen this again and again, all my life, and I’ve lived here since 1956 near to the Prospect Avenue eating (drinking) clubs.

  • Blake Cash

    Telling that the difference between he town and the university is seen as “beyond trivial.”

    The emperor really isn’t wearing any clothes, the sheep are blind.

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