Police dogs, a rarity around the University until last Thursday, may soon become permanent fixtures in Harvard Square.
In a surprise action yesterday, the Cambridge City Council unamimously directed the Cambridge police chief to consider the use of police dogs for routine night patrols in the Square.
The resolution, proposed by Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci, in the wake of student rioting last week, is aimed at protecting the officers of the law.
Vellucci pointed to the "successful use of dogs by the MDC in the recent rampage by Harvard students." The Councillor also pointed to three cases of alleged assault on Cambridge police officers which have occurred in the Square in the past few weeks.
The police dog resolution of a Cambridge Canine Corps to track down felons, strongly opposed using the dogs on routine police beats. "This idea is absolutely abhorrent to me," said Trodden.
Vellucci, whose resolutions are occasionally taken in something less than full seriousness by other councillors, claimed yesterday that he was "very serious" in this effort "to protect the public servants of our people."
Police officers comprise a sizeable voting bloc in Cambridge. No Councillors voted against the order.
Presently, Cambridge police have no dogs.
On another side of the mushrooming issue, Mrs. Malcolm E. Peabody, civil rights crusading mother of the Massachusetts Governor, protested yesterday against the "barbaric use of dogs which is an outrage on human dignity."
In a letter to the Boston Globe, Mrs. Peabody compared the use of police dogs in Cambridge to their use in St. Augustine, Fla., where she recently demonstrated against segregation. Mrs. Peabody claimed that "the picture of a young man fleeing from a dog barely held in check," will damage the Northern image in the South and the U.S. image abroad.