For the first time ever, the heads of the Cambridge and Harvard police departments will meet with the Undergraduate Council tomorrow night and field questions from the audience.
Council Chair David A. Aronberg '93 said he arranged the meeting in an effort to improve police responsiveness to student concerns.
Cambridge Police Commissioner Terry L. Anderson and Harvard University Police Chief Paul E. Johnson will be present at the meeting, to be held tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Sever Hall 113.
The two police forces are currently working to establish a system of mutual assistance in areas around the borders of Cambridge and Harvard jurisdictions.
The two forces have had a history of conflict and turf disputes.
Anderson, who served as police chief of the city of Miami before becoming Cambridge's first commissioner last spring, said the relationship between the two forces would become more of a "partnership" after a formal contract is drawn up.
Anderson, who has won praise for his attempts to open up the police department to the community, said the meeting would serve to tear down the barriers between the police and students.
"It is an opportunity to understand the position of the police as it relates to certain subjects in the community, and to listen to the individuals that impact on our service," Anderson said.
Asked to describe the relationship between the two police forces in the past, Johnson said they have had a "symbiotic relationship" which has worked "98 percent of the time."
He added that he has a better rapport with Anderson than the previous Cambridge chief, Anthony G. Paolillo.
The meeting is intended to "take the mystery out of the police system" for the students, Johnson said.
Aronberg, who joked that he had used his Miami connections to lure Anderson to Harvard, explained that the meeting was prompted by recent mugging incidents.
The muggings occurred across from Hilles Library on Shephered St., an area between the Harvard and Cambridge lines.
Aronberg said the meeting would help make the police more accessible to the Harvard community.
"This is one step to foster communication between those concerned with security issues and those in charge," Aronberg said. "This is something that can give [the council] a little bit more respectability because we're not just playing around."
The council's four- point security program will also include house security seminars, a model mugging course and a security poster contest, Jonathan K. Hsu '94, co-chair of the security committee.