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Riley's 'No Toleration' Policy Focuses on Racism in HUPD

By Courtney A. Coursey

Since Jan. 2, 1996, when Francis D. "Bud" Riley began as chief of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD), he has made it a priority to clear HUPD's past reputation as an alleged racist department.

Riley has implemented a new training program and a policy of thoroughly investigating all complaints of racial insensitivity that the department receives.

These newly-instigated policies stem from the numerous complaints made by black students alleging racial insensitivity on the part of Harvard police officers during the 12 year tenure of Riley's predecessor, Paul E. Johnson.

One of the most notable incidents of alleged racism occurred in 1994 when Inati Ntshanga '95 claimed he was arrested by HUPD officers because he had accused the department of racial harassment.

HUPD charged him with trespassing in Matthews Hall. Ntshanga was actually working in the linen depot in the basement. The charges against him were later dropped.

Riley said that during his 15 months as chief "there have been a couple of incidents" involving allegations of police racism, but would not comment further on the incidents.

Riley said he is aware of the history of allegations against HUPD and said he hopes the "no toleration" policy will help to alleviate the problem.

According to Riley, he made it very clear to the department from the beginning of his employment at HUPD that he would "not tolerate racial insensitivity." ,Not only is the department decrying insensitivity, but Riley said it is going one step further to promote diversity within the patrol unit itself.

With the aid of Herb Vallier, HUPD associate director of finance and administration, Riley has started to actively recruit women and minorities in order to diversify the department's patrol unit.

Currently four of the 40 HUPD patrol officers are women and five are minorities.

To promote awareness within HUPD, Riley implemented a training program to educate department employees about multicultural and ethnic sensitivity as well as aspects of life at the College, including the Administrative Board and the Admissions process.

Riley said he saw the "lack of knowledge on the part of the department about the [Harvard] student body, faculty and staff" as one of the biggest problems facing HUPD.

Currently 20 employees are participating in the 16 four-hour training sessions.

These 20 employees, who range from patrol officers to office employees, volunteered to take part in the program.

Riley said he hopes to expand the program in the future to include more department employees.

Riley also stressed the need to "establish the credibility of the police department with the entire community."

It is "important to make sure that each group...feels we are here to serve everyone," Riley said.

Riley said that a misperception by one group diminishes the credibility of the police department with the entire community

With the aid of Herb Vallier, HUPD associate director of finance and administration, Riley has started to actively recruit women and minorities in order to diversify the department's patrol unit.

Currently four of the 40 HUPD patrol officers are women and five are minorities.

To promote awareness within HUPD, Riley implemented a training program to educate department employees about multicultural and ethnic sensitivity as well as aspects of life at the College, including the Administrative Board and the Admissions process.

Riley said he saw the "lack of knowledge on the part of the department about the [Harvard] student body, faculty and staff" as one of the biggest problems facing HUPD.

Currently 20 employees are participating in the 16 four-hour training sessions.

These 20 employees, who range from patrol officers to office employees, volunteered to take part in the program.

Riley said he hopes to expand the program in the future to include more department employees.

Riley also stressed the need to "establish the credibility of the police department with the entire community."

It is "important to make sure that each group...feels we are here to serve everyone," Riley said.

Riley said that a misperception by one group diminishes the credibility of the police department with the entire community

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