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Police To Up Quad Patrol

Neighborhood compaints of late night partiers prompt increase in police patrol

By Katherine M. Gray and Nicholas K. Tabor, Crimson Staff Writers

Police patrols of the area surrounding the Quad will increase in response to complaints from neighbors, Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 announced yesterday.

In a letter to students posted on the College’s Web site, Gross urged students to “moderate your behavior in light of our responsibility to the neighboring community, especially during evening and early morning hours.”

Gross said increased evening patrols by the Cambridge Police will target “excessive noise and loitering in…city streets.”

In addition, he wrote that the College is “seeking ways to address the problem by providing additional evening shuttle service.”

The complaints stemmed primarily from the “noise of people walking to and coming back from parties in the Quad,” Gross wrote in an e-mail to The Crimson.

Cambridge Police Department (CPD) spokesman Frank Pasquerello declined to comment on the location, extent, or timing of the new patrols.

“We don’t give out specifics,” he said.

Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) spokesman Steven G. Catalano said only that “CPD and HUPD patrols will address the disorder associated with loud parties, loud groups traveling between the Quad and other parts of campus, and other inappropriate behavior.”

Although there has been a general increase in noise complaints from residents over the last few years, the total number has shot upwards this fall, said Thomas J. Lucey, Harvard’s director of community relations for Cambridge.

Lucey said he personally received two to three calls from heads of neighborhood organizations and knows of several more placed to HUPD.

“While there isn’t a lot of maliciousness” from neighborhood residents, Lucey said, “when there’s several hundred kids walking down the street having a normal conversation, the level of noise is greater than one might find acceptable.”

Police patrols are on the rise in other parts of Cambridge, as well. During Monday’s City Council meeting, several residents of the Riverside area near Dunster and Mather Houses said they had noticed a greater police presence in their neighborhood.

“We did notice an increase in foot patrols and bicycle patrols, and at least the perception of a decrease in crime did occur,” said Ben Holtzman, a resident of Riverside.

But Councillor Marjorie C. Decker said that, to her knowledge, the expanded patrols in other parts of the city had little to do with noise grievances.

And neither Decker nor Councillor E. Denise Simmons said they knew of the plan to up patrols around the Quad.

“I’m not aware of increased complaints in that neighborhood,” Decker said.

—Staff writer Nicholas K. Tabor can be reached at ntabor@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Katherine M. Gray can be reached at kmgray@fas.harvard.edu.

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