Rutgers University–Camden Taps Former Police Captain and Decorated Marine Veteran as New Chief of Police

Chief Lutz Swearing-in Ceremony
(left to right) Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen, Rutgers Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio Calcado, Rutgers Board of Governors and Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors member William Tambussi, Rutgers–Camden Chief of Police Kevin Lutz, and Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis.

Kevin Lutz has championed de-escalation, accountability, and community policing throughout his 20 years of law enforcement experience

Following a highly competitive selection process, Kevin Lutz, a 16-year veteran of the Camden County Police Department and former U.S. Marine, was sworn in as Rutgers University–Camden chief of police on Monday, August 1. Lutz comes to Rutgers–Camden with a wealth of law enforcement leadership experience, having attained the rank of captain with the Camden County Police Department in 2019. He has established a national reputation as an expert in police reform, working with organizations like the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the ACLU to promote improved organizational culture, appropriate use of force, and impartiality in modern policing institutions. 

Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis characterized Lutz’s appointment as chief of police as a watershed moment for public safety at the university.

“Captain Lutz’s knowledge and strength of character have been evident throughout the selection process,” Chancellor Tillis said. “As the new chief of police, he brings a proven progressive vision that will allow everyone on our campus—regardless of race, gender, disability, or economic status—to receive the highest standard of protection and service from our officers.”

After four years of service in the U.S. Marines, during which he earned the rank of lance corporal, Lutz joined the Oaklyn, N.J. Police Department as a patrol officer. He came to Camden in 2006, reaching the ranks of sergeant in 2013 and lieutenant in 2015. In addition to numerous awards for on-duty bravery, heroism, and meritorious service, Lutz amassed a distinguished list of professional certifications and accomplishments related to officer accountability, mental health awareness, refugee services, and prevention of deadly-force incidents.

Throughout his career, Lutz has forged strong ties to Camden. As a Camden County Police Department captain, he was responsible for community safety operations and investigative units that required him to supervise approximately 400 personnel. Lutz was heavily involved in training new officers and served on the Camden County Police Academy Advisory Board. 

At the same time, Lutz has made a national impact, with his expertise in high demand far beyond the confines of South Jersey. He has served as an expert witness and subject-matter expert in legal proceedings concerning de-escalation, use of force, and defensive tactics. Lutz worked with the ACLU and NYU Policing Project in creating a nationally recognized use-of-force policy. Perhaps most notably, he testified before the Minnesota Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group, which became a key institution in discussions of police reform following George Floyd’s June 2020 death in Minneapolis.

The Rutgers–Camden community gathered in the campus center on Monday to witness Chief of Police Lutz’s swearing-in ceremony. Chancellor Tillis, Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen, Rutgers Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio Calcado, Rutgers University Chief of Police Kenneth Cop, and Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay were among those who spoke at the event, marking an exciting new development in Rutgers–Camden’s continued commitment to forward-thinking, community-focused policing.

Kevin Lutz swearing-in
Chief of Police Lutz was sworn in by Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay. His wife and children were by his side.
Chancellor Tillis at the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Kevin Lutz
Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis notes that the appointment of Chief Kevin Lutz is a watershed moment for public safety at the university.
PUPD Color Guard at Chief Lutz Swearing-in Ceremony
The RUPD Color Guard leads the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance during Monday's ceremony.
Chief Kenneth Cop
Rutgers University Chief of Police Kenneth Cop delivered remarks, lauding Chief Lutz as a “change agent” for police training and organizational culture.
Chief David Harkins
Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins shares words of encouragement and congratulations for Chief Kevin Lutz.