Recently published data reveal that property crime at Harvard has been increasing.
The total volume of reported theft on the Cambridge campus rose from 508 incidents in 1998
to 630 incidents in 2002. Total enrollment grew by +5.5%; other factors
remaining constant, the risk of becoming a victim of a property crime at Harvard
by +17.5% in 4 years.
risk = C × (number of incidents reported) / (number
of students enrolled).
A cautionary note: “The statistics represent alleged criminal
offenses reported to campus security authorities or local
police agencies. Therefore,
the data collected do not necessarily reflect prosecutions or convictions for
Harvard Univ., 2001–2002 Financial Report to the Board
of Overseers of Harvard College 12 (2002).
Univ. Police Dep’t, Playing It Safe: A Guide for Keeping Safe at Harvard (2001–2002 ed. Aug. 2001; 2003–2004 ed. Aug. 2003) (“Cambridge Campus Crime Statistics”).
Office of Postsecondary Educ., U.S. Dept. of Educ., Campus Crime and Security at Postsecondary Education Institutions,
http://ope.ed.gov/security/index.aspx (Oct. 2003).
Office of Postsecondary Educ., OPE Campus Security Statistics, http://ope.ed.gov/security/GetOneInstitutionData.aspx (Oct. 2003).
The most radical alteration in Harvard’s security policy over the last few
years has been the displacement of directly employed Harvard University Security Guards by temp workers, the employees of a non-University-controlled security service
decision to introduce this policy is often attributed
to Chief Francis Riley:
Francis “Bud” Riley, a 24-year veteran of the Massachusetts State
Police, took office as Harvard’s director of police and security in January
1996. In the three years since, Riley has instituted a number of
community policing programs at Harvard.… John Lenger, assistant director of
the Harvard News Office,
spoke with Riley to get a progress report on how community policing is working
Q: … What else did you do to involve the community?
RILEY: … I wanted to do team policing, and have the students and faculty and
staff know the officers, … and the students and the faculty and staff would
have a sense of connection to the police because they would know each other.
Q: How does this affect the security guards’ role in this model?
RILEY: The community policing model is based on a team structure to supplement
and work with the police officers. Security guards, whether they
are in-house guards or contract guards, are part of that team along with students,
tutors, building managers and others in the community. One of the
benefits of this model is that, in a team effort, security and support to the
officers is not dependent on any one element.
Q: But there have been a lot of stories in the student press about … the reduction
in the number of guards and the effect on campus safety. Aren’t these
RILEY: As I said, this is a team effort that does not rely on one particular
Source: “Community Policing: Questions and Answers” (1999), Community
Policing at Harvard University: Changing Strategies for Changing Times, Harvard Univ. News Office, Dec. 16, 2002, (Specials), http://www.hno.harvard.edu/specials/policing/bud.riley.html (2003).
Although Chief Riley was given the authority to implement the policy, the decision
to introduce it was undoubtedly made
management before he arrived.
The individual bearing the
greatest responsibility for the security of the Harvard community is its
vice president for Police and Security. Robert
Iuliano ’83, a former labor-law specialist who predated Chief
Riley by two years, is now serving in this capacity. By
all accounts an honest and competent attorney, the new General
Counsel has made a serious mistake in failing to reverse his predecessor’s
Upper management has sacrificed the security of the Harvard community
in a futile campaign to break the university’s own independent security workers’ union.
As management was reducing the number of
union security guards on campus from 62 in
1998 to 18 in 2002, the rate of property crime rose by more than 17 percent.
Without a complement of experienced, committed security guards providing
support for its patrol officers, how effectively can the university protect
its campus? The data are