The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 33.0°F | A Few Clouds

Article on Campus Police staffing contains numerous inaccuracies

I read with disappointment a recent article in The Tech ["Glavin: understaffing not unusual," Dec. 11]. This article presented some serious inaccuracies which require correction.

The article emphasizes that eight officers are required to patrol the MIT campus if one takes into account the six foot patrol zones and two cruiser patrol areas. The article then states that this figure does not take into account officers on sick leave or vacation.

In fact Brian Rosenberg '93, the author of the article, was given staffing numbers of nine officers assigned to the 11:30 pm shift, 11 officers assigned to the 7:30 am shift, 11 officers assigned to the 3:30 pm shift and three officers assigned to the 6:00 pm shift.

These numbers do not include the dispatchers on each shift, one full-time crime prevention officer on the day shift and one current opening in the patrol division.

As he was further informed, these staffing numbers decrease when one takes into account an officer's days off, sick leave, vacation, etc. The average shift staffing runs six to eight officers.

Another inaccuracy concerns the staffing decisions made by the "crime prevention unit." Rosenberg was told that the shift commanders (lieutenants) make daily staffing decisions based on a variety of factors, including the crime analysis information provided on a weekly basis by the department's Crime Prevention Unit.

This is only one factor and relates strictly to the commander's review of what particular crime issues are of concern on the campus. For example, last summer the campus experienced a particular problem with motor vehicle thefts in the parking facilities. At the time we increased our patrol activity to deal with that problem.

The article also stated, "Under fully staffed conditions, each patrol car travels around either the east or west half of the campus. . . ." The department always has two marked cruisers patrolling the campus -- sometimes the third marked cruiser is also put into service depending on need and supervisory discretion.

Given the amount of time I spent with Rosenberg discussing these issues in detail, showing him patrol-zone maps and explaining our staffing, it is very disappointing to see such an inaccurate and sensationalized headline to a very serious issue.

Anne P. Glavin->

Campus Police Chief->