Patrolman Says Force Is Understaffed
Tonis Calls Present Size Sufficient
The president of the Harvard Patrolmen's Association alleged yesterday that the Harvard police force has ten fewer patrolmen than it needs to provide the University with complete protection.
Lawrence Letteri said the force needs the ten additional patrolmen to provide around-the-clock coverage of Holyoke Center, Peabody Terrace, the Graduate School of Education and Radcliffe Yard.
Both the police captain and the chief of University Police said yesterday that the force is large enough now, and that an increase in patrolmen would not necessarily bring an improvement in police protection at Harvard.
"There's no need for a larger force. Letteri has great theories, but if I want more men I'll ask for them. I believe in economizing," Robert Tonis, chief of the University Police, said.
Letteri said he realizes the University operates on a tight budget, but said that "budget considerations shouldn't pertain to police protection."
The Harvard force now numbers 72, including 52 patrolmen, 15 sergeants and four lieutenants. Two years ago it had 75 members, 58 of them patrolmen and 14 sergeants.
Captain George Walsh said the increase in sergeants lessens the need for patrolmen, since sergeants drive cars and can cover more ground than patrolmen. Letteri said, however, that there is "nothing like a footman." "You can have your cars. Footmen stop trouble before it happens. When a patrolman leaves the force, he should be replaced by another patrolman," he said.
The Harvard police have one patrolman covering the Radcliffe Yard, Radcliffe Quad and the Ed School from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.; a patrolman who stops by Peabody Terrace about five times a day; and a patrolman at Holyoke Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All three of the areas Letteri said need more coverage are on the routes patrolled by sergeants in cars.
Walsh said the Harvard force has an unusually large ratio of policemen to residents. There are about 15 policemen for every 5000 people at Harvard, and 13 Cambridge police for every 5000 in Cambridge as a whole, he said.