Harvard University closes police substation after faculty, students complain

Officers have also been barred from eating in certain dining halls

By Suzie Ziegler 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In February, Harvard University announced it would close one of its four campus police substations after years of complaints from students and faculty, The Harvard Crimson reported. That substation was officially shuttered this week, according to NewsNation

“The decision to close the Mather House substation was made […] in response to concerns raised by Mather House staff and students as well as the amount of use of the substation by officers and community members,” said Steve Catalano, a spokesperson for the Harvard University Police Department, in a statement last month to the Crimson. 

The Mather House substation is the only such facility attached to a student resident hall, which some students find intimidating, according to the Crimson. 

“Having a police car sitting outside of Mather every night — which it does — doesn’t bring me any sense of safety,” one student told the Crimson in February. 

Students also raised concerns about officers eating in campus dining halls while in uniform, according to the Crimson. After students complained, faculty dean Amala Mahadevan raised concerns about the substation last year to HUPD Chief Victor Clay, the report says. Officers have been barred from eating in upperclassman dining halls since the campus reopened in 2021 for the fall semester. 

Harvard will continue to operate its three other substations. 

“The closure will not impact the Department’s ability to respond to calls from the community in an effective and timely manner,” Catalano wrote.

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