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What the Campus Police Can Do For You

By Katherine Allen

We all see them, in Boston and around campus, but few people take much notice of the Campus Police except when they are needed.

Everybody knows that, in an emergency, you can dial 100 (on campus) to contact the Campus Police. However, few people know that the CPs are sworn Deputy Sheriffs of Middlesex County, and have the same legal authority on MIT’s campus as municipal police in Boston or Cambridge. Campus Police officers also provide emergency medical response and other services to the MIT community. Chief of Police Anne P. Glavin said, “The core of what we offer is an integral knowledge of the MIT community.”

The CPs, for example, also offer rides after Saferide and Tech Shuttle have stopped running for the night, which can be requested by calling the department at 253-1212.

EMT services take priority

With regards to alcohol, the campus police department should be a student’s first resource. Glavin said, “What we’ve been doing is preaching the message that if you or a friend are in need because of alcohol use, it is important to call the CPs.” The Campus Police are required to respond to any medical emergency regarding alcohol primarily as an emergency management team, leaving investigation of the incident as a secondary concern.

According to MIT’s official alcohol policy, “All those who observe a medical or other emergency are expected to call for help. If the person who places a call for help is found to be in violation of policy, the fact that he or she placed the call will be considered a mitigating circumstance when sanctions are imposed.”

Therefore, students should give priority to a medical emergency, Glavin said. “The first offense is generally a meeting with a dean and a discussion of issues,” said Glavin. “It comes down to the simple issue of a person’s welfare.”

Crime prevention programs integral

As part of their mission to keep students safe and secure, the Campus Police offer several Crime Prevention Education Programs.

“A big part of what we do is education. We can be seen as a resource for the students rather than just an authority figure,” said Glavin. The programs include “How to be Streetwise and Safe,” designed to help attendees identify potentially dangerous situations, “Acquaintance Rape,” an awareness program concerning the most common type of rape, and “Officer Friendly,” a program designed to teach day-care and pre-school age children to trust police officers when one needs help.

“The Rape Aggression Defense System” is a program designed to teach women realistic self-defense and awareness techniques and is offered as a Physical Education class. “The RAD programs are a very important and popular ones,” according to Glavin.

The department also offers safety and security programs on request, which can be designed to fit specific needs. For example, Campus Police provided in-house forums to many Boston and Cambridge living groups at the beginning of the term, in which they discussed the many services they offer and programs they run around and in the MIT community.

Well-trained CPs provide service

MIT’s Campus Police force includes a staff of 59 sworn officers and supervisors who provide police and emergency medical services to the 146-acre MIT campus, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The force has recently expanded to include a Boston division, which, according to Glavin, is “an outgrowth of the Institute looking at drinking and student behavior.”

The Boston CPs, assigned to exclusively patrol the Boston FSILGs, work to attend to students’ needs in a timely matter. “Unlike the main campus, all we patrol are students and their homes. We have the luxury of focusing on the students, their residences, and related issues” said Glavin. This includes medical attention, neighborhood conflict resolution, and general safety.

The Boston branch of the MIT campus police are still establishing their jurisdiction in Boston (which is in Suffolk County) but are qualified and certified MIT campus police. Deputization of the CPs has been held up in large part due to an ongoing labor dispute between the CPs and the Institute.

Before anyone can even be considered for a position on the CP force, they are required to have served three years in a campus, municipal, or state police force. They then undergo background checks and psychological screenings prior to the final hiring decision.

After they are hired, CP officers are required to complete a basic training academy, EMT training, and are constantly trained in special techniques, such as crime-prevention, rape crisis intervention, and crime-scene searches.

Katie Jeffreys contributed to

the reporting of this story