NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Hub City is just over five square miles, but it has a population of between 50,000 and 60,000 people, and a police force of more than 130 sworn officers.
Those officers made 2,199 arrests in 2014, roughly one arrest for every 27 residents, according to documents obtained by New Brunswick Today.
In response to a public records request, the NBPD provided a list of all the adults arrested, including their home address, race, date of birth, date of arrest, name of the arresting officer, and the charges they were arrested on.
For the 101 minors arrested, police redacted the names, addresses, and dates of birth of the arrestees.
It is difficult to draw conclusions from the 123-page document, which is sorted by the age of the arrestee, and does not include the times or locations of the arrests.
The document does not include arrests made by Rutgers Police, the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, or other law enforcement agencies.
However, it still provide some insight into how the city’s police department approaches its mission.
The arrestees ranged in age from 12 to 73, and the charges ranged from missing a court date to first-degree murder.
The most common reasons for arrests were “service of warrant,” contempt of court, disorderly conduct, shoplifting, driving while intoxicated, and possession of drugs, an offense which requires officers to make an arrest in New Jersey, unlike other states.
While most people on the list were only arrested once by the NBPD in 2014, there were a number of “repeat customers.”
In some cases, additional charges may have been filed against someone already in custody, causing them to appear on the list again without necessarily being arrested.
For instance, Timothy Puskas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on March 21, and four days later, while still in custody, he was charged with the murder of Billy McCaw.
Cristina Lapa, age 39, appears to have the most arrests involving city police in 2014, as she appeared on the list a whopping 12 times.
A handful of arrestees are in the process of suing the city government, including Willie Jarvis, John Fleming, Joe Fabics, and 73-year-old Sam Khoudary, the oldest man arrested by the NBPD in 2014.
As always, anyone arrested and accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.