In Vineland, any arrests that happen in their public schools will now be posted online for anyone to see.
If an arrest happens in a high school, most police departments will keep the information private in order to protect the student's identity. However in Vineland, the police department has decided to post arrests that occur in their schools on the Vineland police department's web pages.
"We release all information, that way we keep our department transparent regarding any juvenile arrests," said Lieutenant Alan Pagnini of the Vineland police department.
If the police arrest a student from a Vineland public school, they will post the student's age, sex, and a brief description of the incident. Police officials say that this is not a new policy but that they used to pick and choose which arrests they posted. Now, any incident that is not under investigation will be posted online.
Lt. Pagnini said, "I think that it gives everyone in the community a glance at what actually occurs in the school system and we can honestly say we have nothing to hide."
Vineland police said there were 48 crime related incidents in the Vineland public schools in the month of January. By publicizing these incidents, local residents feel safer knowing what's going on so close by."
Joan Wiltin, a resident that lives across the street from Vineland High, said, "I think it makes everyone in the neighborhood feel safer." Another nearby resident, Alexander Thomas McStravick, said, "Oh, I think it's great. It's more safety for our kids, you know, walking back and forth from school. Little kids walking around – who knows what could happen.
Vineland school officials wouldn't say whether or not they were happy with the police department's decision, but they did release a statement saying they work with the Vineland police juvenile unit on a daily basis.
Pagnini told NBC40, "We haven't had any complaints about juveniles being posted due to the fact that we keep it as anonymous as possible.
Local residents say that by posting the information online, students may think twice before committing crimes. Joan Wilton said, "I think it may be a deterrent in a lot of cases." McStravick added, "Now that they know that it's online and its out in the public, they'll be like 'Oh, well this is bad for me. I should stop doing this now.'"
Vineland police said they would never post a student's name if the student is under the age of 18.