The sole cop patrolling the expected site of the two new residential colleges will not be lonely for long.
With the addition of two new residential colleges will come a “likely” personnel expansion for both Yale Security and the Yale Police Department, Deputy University Secretary Martha Highsmith said Thursday. Although talks of hiring new security guards and officers have begun only since the Yale Corporation’s approval of the plan two weeks ago, Highsmith said, administrators remain committed to preserving the current level of protection provided to Yale students.
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Yale Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk said, currently, the YPD gets few calls for police service in the largely vacant plot where the colleges are to be built. That area — bound by Prospect, Canal and Sachem streets — is within YPD patrol boundaries and receives constant coverage, Woznyk explained.
According to the News’ crime map, which uses data from the YPD’s crime logs, the area has had 19 reported incidents in the last year.
Four warrant services and one breach of peace incident were closed by arrests in the last year. In addition, three thefts from motor vehicles, three thefts, three instances of criminal mischief, a burglary and an assault were considered “open” cases when they were reported to the YPD.
Woznyk told the News last March that, should the colleges be built, it would force the YPD to increase visibility in an area that would likely get more pedestrian traffic at all times of day. On Thursday, he reiterated the YPD’s ability to shuffle its current resources to accommodate the expansion.
“Certainly, should the need arise, the YPD has the capability to utilize additional resources in order to supplement police service in that area in the form of a bicycle and or foot patrol,” he said.
But Highsmith said the University is beginning to flesh out plans to hire more officers in order to provide security options in the new colleges that would be “comparable” in relation to those of the current colleges.
Yale Security would look to bolster its lineup to secure the insides of college courtyards while the Yale Police would cover the streets, Highsmith said, though she said the numbers have not yet been determined.
If the new residential colleges, coupled with the planned multi-purpose building, create more of a “night campus” on Prospect Street, as administrators intend, Yale will certainly need to rebuff its security forces accordingly, Highsmith explained.
New Haven Chief Administrative Officer Robert Smuts ’01 said the University has not yet been in contact with the city about what the proposed expansion means for police. The New Haven Police Department will not play a leading role in policing the new colleges, he added.
“It’s Yale’s campus now and traditionally that’s the role of the Yale Police Department,” Smuts said.
Coupled with the YPD’s headquarters, located in the Rose Center at 101 Ashmun St., the relocated Yale University Health Services building, which is still under construction and catty corner to the Rose Center, will facilitate the active student life that will come up beyond the nearby Grove Street Cemetery, administrators have said. The YPD shares the Rose Center with the Dixwell-Yale Community Center.
During a recent interview with the News, Corporation senior fellow Roland Betts ’68 unfurled a map of Yale’s campus and pointed to where he thought the new center of Yale’s campus would be located. He placed his finger atop the Grove Street Cemetery, merely a stone’s throw from the YPD and YUHS.
When deciding where to move the YPD headquarters and YUHS, Highsmith said administrators looked at Yale’s campus as a whole and decided to construct the sites in a location that would open up campus and strengthen the possibility for expansion.
“[The Ashmun Street location] was certainly viewed as an area where they wanted to expand into,” Highsmith said.
Even with the looming expansion, which will happen over the next five years, the YPD still has ranks to fill. Following the retirement of two officers this year, the YPD currently has 81 officers of its 83 officer quota.
Six to 10 YPD officers will become eligible for retirement this summer, Woznyk told the News in late January. The YPD kicked off an open and ongoing recruitment program in October 2006, and has hired 12 officers thus far.