Task Force Cites Need For Police Presence

Crime Not High, Some Areas Risky

A task force established to examine security in Harvard Square issued its first report yesterday, recommending a greater police presence in the Pitamong other measures.

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III, who chaired the 17-member committee, said the recommendations are based on a survey of under-graduates conducted last year.

"Students felt vulnerable felt vulnerable in certain places in Harvard Square. The level of crime is not high, but perception by student and public is that there are risky areas," he said.

Epps said the task force concluded that the University and the city of Cambridge need to work more closely together and that security in specif- ic areas of the Square needs to be examined.

The dean said students are particularly worriedabout the Pit, a recessed area surrounding theHarvard Square subway station.

"Students are concerned about the people whohang out in "The Pit,''' he said. "We want to givemore people a sense of ownership of the Pit area."


The task force recommended that police officersbegin and end their foot patrols from the Pit. Italso suggested installing visible police callboxes in the area.

The group also urged a more visible policepresence in the Square in general, calling formore foot patrols and officers on motorcycles.

Video monitors should also be installed insidethe subway station, the report said.

The task force also endorsed architecturalchanges that Harvard Real Estate is consideringfor the Holyoke Center area. The report said"special attention" should be given to closing theHolyoke archway at night.

The security report also asked Cambridge to"review the issue of banning skateboarding" in theSquare and endorsed community policing programswhich would include the Houses.

Under Consideration

Ellen Fox, director of the office of studentand residential life at the Graduate School ofArts and Sciences, said the committee'srecommendations are now being considered forimplementation by the appropriate organizations.

"There is every reason to look forward tochanges being made in the area to enhance andpromote safety and security for everyone," saidFox, who drafted the report.

The task force, which was created in November,will not meet this summer but will continue itswork in the fall.

The committee include Harvard administratorsand representatives of local merchants, as well asCambridge Police Commissioner Perry Anderson,Harvard Police Chief Paul E. Johnson and MBTAPolice Chief Jack O'Donovan.

Fox said the committee has accomplished a lotbecause its members have been working closelytogether.

"One of the most positive aspects was thebringing together of these various groups ofpeople in the Harvard and Cambridge communities,"she said. "The task force was extremelyproductive, and that is very much the result ofthe close communication and cooperation betweenthe various members."CrimsonCoky NguyenNICE DOGGIE:ETHAN BARACHE, 16 Months old,discovers one of the square's highest forms oflife.