Univ. pushes safety services

Although it was not the usual impetus for a sushi party, Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs hosted a security meeting for off-campus students Monday night to ensure they are aware of the resources available to them.

Neighborhoods surrounding campus saw a spike in crime last year, though this year there has only been one reported mugging, which took place last week near the Yale Divinity School. Last night’s presentation targeted the Dwight and Howe neighborhoods, which are popular off-campus housing options for students, said office program director Reginald Solomon, who participated in the forum. Some students said they felt safe in the neighborhoods at night, while others complained of long waits for escorts and few noticeable policemen.

YPD Lt. Michael Patten said the Dwight area is divided between the City of New Haven and the University, and both police departments collaborate with each other to ensure the safety of the area.

“YPD and NHPD collaborate with each other using different resources,” Patten said. “We share our information, and we have shared radio and computer dispatchers. In case of an emergency, both police departments will be informed of the case.”

Susan Parlato-Landino, the assistant administrator of Yale Security Awareness, gave a brief speech on the many facilities Yale offers to make students feel more secure. But she emphasized the students’ role to ensure their security by using logic and common sense.

“Yale offers its students many services to ensure their security, such as the Yale Minibus, the 2-Walk and the security programs that require using the student IDs,” she said. “Yale has improved its services, which now include an increased number of patrol hours and improvement of the Yale Minibus service by using a new computer system to facilitate the service.”

Still, some student complaints about those services were aired during a question-and-answer period with Parlato-Landino. One student called the reliability of the Minibus service into question, saying she has been put on hold for about 15 minutes when she calls the service and is occasionally disconnected from the line.

But Gina Calder EPH ’08, who also lives on Dwight Street, said she has never felt insecure in the area.

“I think the most important thing is to be observant and to pay attention to the area around you,” she said. “I know many people would like to hang out at different times — especially in the summer — therefore, they should be very careful and aware of their surroundings. I think these information sessions are very important, especially for new students, and they should be given more often.”

Ward 2 Alderwoman Joyce Chen ’01 was also present at the meeting, and delivered remarks urging students to become more a part of the New Haven community.

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