HUPD Enjoys Move to New Headquarters

Gregory A. Elinson

A glimpse into the new headquarters of the Harvard University Police Department. It is located at 1033 Mass. Ave.

Steven G. Catalano smiled as he looked out the window of his office at the new headquarters of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD).

“I can see the Tobin Bridge from here, and this isn’t even the best view,” said Catalano, the HUPD spokesperson. This is his first HUPD office with a window view.

After 21 years at its cramped and leaky 29 Garden St. location, HUPD employees settled into their new high-tech offices yesterday on the sixth floor of 1033 Mass. Ave. It is a move many praised.

“I feel as though I’ve died and gone to heaven,” said Sgt. Richard DeCruz.

“It’s nice here,” said HUPD Chief Francis “Bud” Riley. “At the other place, when it rained, the walls leaked and the sewage backed up into the locker room,” he added.

The Garden Street location is undergoing structural renovations and will later serve as an HUPD sub-station. The building was due for renovations seven to eight years ago. Riley said.

The new location’s technological amenities include a palm print scanner that allows one detective to gain access to stored evidence. In addition, electronic keycards are now required to gain access to the area beyond the station’s waiting room and its basement.

And more hidden cameras than were used in the old building have been placed throughout the Massachusetts Avenue headquarters, Catalano said.

Administrative Manager Peggy A. McNamara, who spent 21 years at the Garden Street location, said the upgrades are part of the reason she’s embraced the move.

“It feels like I’ve gone from a house I’ve grown up in to a new house with state-of-the-art everything,” McNamara said.

In addition, HUPD’s new headquarters boasts upgrades in physical space that Catalano said were much needed.

The headquarters now fills the basement of the University-owned Massachusetts Avenue building and is replete with parking facilities, locker rooms and a gym. It also has a temporary holding cell with a built-in bathroom, which Catalano said will ensure that those detained will not be able to leave.

Twelve brand new leather chairs—tags still attached—surround a wooden table in the chief’s new conference room. The room will serve as HUPD’s command post in case of a major emergency, Catalano said.

The new station also features more offices and a conference room that will provide privacy for those filing police reports.

“All of the equipment we had was at least 20 years old; the furniture and chairs were falling apart,” Riley said. “The timing [for the move happened to be right.”

—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at steinhar@fas.harvard.edu.