Yale will beef up police presence to maintain order during strike



When striking workers form picket lines next week around classroom buildings and throughout streets, Yale University police plan to step up surveillance to maintain order.

The Yale Police Department plans to position police throughout the campus to provide increased security during the strikes, Lt. Michael Patten said.

Patten would not provide specific details regarding the plans for increased security, but he did confirm that Yale police will be distributed around Yale while striking workers form picket lines throughout campus.

“We’ve made some adjustments in staffing and deployment,” Patten said. “We’ll have people where we think we need them — It’s a significant commitment of our resources.”

Patten said he would not elaborate on specific plans, however, since further description could compromise any such measures.

“We’re not going to discuss the details of what we’ve done,” Patten said.

Strikers do not need to obtain permits when they form picket lines on public spaces, he said.

“As long as they stand on a sidewalk they don’t [need a permit],” Patten said.

Patten also said picketers will not need permits if they surround Yale buildings such as William L. Harkness Hall. The classroom building faces Wall Street and is surrounded by Cross Campus, which — while owned by the university — contains public walkways.

“Technically, [Cross Campus] is owned by Yale, but it’s a thoroughfare,” Patten said.

Yale University President Richard Levin stressed the importance of maintaining civility during the strike in an effort to ensure stability around campus.

“The main thing is just that the picket be orderly — and that people opposed to the strike allow the picketers [to protest] and strikers allow other people to pass through the line,” Levin said.

Patten said strikers in picket lines will not be allowed to block students from entering and leaving classroom buildings.

“They can’t block any entrance or egress from the building,” Patten said. “The line has to open for anyone to go in or go out.”

Patten also said picketers cannot stand in place and must remain moving around the buildings they picket. He said if picketers violate any regulations, police will ask them to picket in the proper manner, but will not initially stop them from picketing.

“Our role is to ensure the safety of the community and preserve the rights of everyone who is involved,” Patten said. “Feelings run strong in situations like this.”

Neither Levin nor Patten said they expect any serious disorderly conduct.

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