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MIT Police Timeline





January 11, 1957

  • Harvey Burstein suggests extending the “Academic Roving Patrol” being performed by Division of Sponsored Research Guards, citing recent thefts.
  • At the time “Academic Roving Patrol” consisted of one DSR guard

August 5, 1957

  • Training for Police Unit began (All training and recruiting done under the supervision of Harvey Burstein, Security Officer, Division of Sponsored Research)

September 1, 1957

  • MIT Police Force added to staff
    • Called MIT Security Force in President’s Report
    • Operated under the Division of Sponsored Research (DSR)
    • MIT Security Force consisted of two parts:
      • Police Platoon: MIT’s police force
      • Guard Platoon: pre-existing DSR Guards
    • Operation of the MIT Security Force was to protect classified work and generally protect the Institute
    • Had 1957 Chevy station Wagon for a cruiser, it doubled as an ambulance
    • 2 patrols
      • Never less than 2 men on duty, generally 4 or 5 officers working at a time
    • Officers carried guns and were constables in Cambridge
    • Operated under the direction of Captain Norman S. Sidney
    • Replaced the Cambridge police on Campus
    • 19 officers



July 1, 1960

  • Administrative decision causes the Security Force to split into 2 groups
    • Security for the DSR relegated to a separate group
    • Harvey Burstein in charge of all work in the area of security of sponsored research contracts
    • Security Force (now the Campus Patrol) made responsible to Office of Personnel Relations



  • Campus patrol being augmented

September, 1964

  • Campus Patrol acquires 2 new station-wagon type ambulances



  • Campus Patrol gets walkie-talkies for communication; radio is shared with the Physical Plant
  • Responsibility of Campus Patrol shifts upward to the Office of the Vice President.

April, 1969

  • Two-way walkie-talkies to be purchased for use by the Campus Patrol
    • Radio network shared with the Physical Plant
  • President Johnson was concerned about Campus Patrol being understaffed; headcount was to be increased by 5 officers for a total of 45.



July, 1970

  • Equal opportunity efforts lead to 4 minority staff members being added
  • New police headquarters to be occupied (W31)



  • Operation Bolt Down put into effect

November, 1972

  • Patrol begins loaning electric engravers as part of Operation Identification



  • Crime Prevention Program initiated
  • Night escort service instituted

June, 1973

  • Norman S. Sidney retires as Chief of Police

July 1, 1973

  • James Olivieri becomes new Chief of Police
    • Olivieri had been with the Campus Patrol since its inception. He was promoted to sergeant in 1958, lieutenant in 1963, and captain in 1969.
    • As chief, Olivieri develops a Crime Prevention format for the Campus Patrol, and insisted in a 13-week police academy mode

July, 1973

  • Maureen Twomey becomes first female officer on force

August, 1973

  • Height restriction on Campus Patrol hires was reconsidered and dropped


1973 or 1974

  • MIT Junior Beavers community relations program started by 4 officers



  • Ambulance Service formally begins with the purchase of a class 1 ambulance
    • All new officers required to take EMT training, all other staff trained as first responders.
    • EMS monitored by a civilian coordinator
    • Ambulance is garaged in a central spot on campus when not in use. Foot patrol officer assigned to that area responsible for the ambulance during the shift.



  • Campus Patrol begins publishing Annual Report
  • All new officers now required to receive EMT training.

March, 1975

  • New ambulance purchased due to new standards by the Mass. Dept. of Health

November 24, 1975

  • MIT Campus Police Association petitioned for unionization to represent 45 employees of MIT serving as police officers and EMTs


1975 or 1976

  • Patrol force decreased due to budget
  • Begin shift towards civilians controlling parking



  • Crime Prevention Tour (aka Crime Prevention Rundown) begins



  • Anti-vehicle theft program, “Identicar” begins
  • Presented crime prevention exhibit for the MIT Community, this will become an annual event
  • Called “Campus Police” in the 1979 Annual Report

September 10, 1979

  • Bicycle registration program begins

Fall, 1979

  • Rape Prevention seminar developed by Officer Anne P. Glavin


1979 or 1980

  • Represented by the MIT Police Association



  • McGruff introduced to the MIT Campus

January, 1980

  • Campus Patrol begins utilizing ICAP (Integrated Criminal Apprehension Program) as used by the Cambridge Police Department

October 21-22, 1980

  • First crime prevention fair held


1980 or 1981

  • Referred to as Campus Police for first time in President’s Report



  • Crime Prevention seminars for seniors (Senior Citizens and Crime) started; offered through the Benefits Office



January 1982

  • Campus Patrol published student drug book

May, 1982

  • BAPERN (Boston Area Police Emergency Radio Network) put into operation
    • BAPERN allows Campus Police to communicate with other Greater Boston police departments, including Cambridge and Harvard University

September 16, 1982

  • Crime prevention packets distributed to all freshmen and sophomore students.

October, 1982

  • Campus Police records computerized



  • Computerization of parking and traffic division


1984 or 1985

  • MIT Campus Police Department expands size of HQ in W-31



June, 1986

  • Contact between MIT and the Police department expires.
    • Problems negotiating new contract involve a desired change in the work week to a four-and-two schedule
    • Labor union alleged discriminatory promotion practices.



November 30, 1987

  • Chief Olivieri retires

December 1, 1987

  • Anne P. Glavin becomes Chief of Police
    • Glavin joined force in 1975 as a patrol officer, became a full-time crime prevention officer in 1979, and was promoted to captain in August 1986.
  • All newly hired officers sworn in as deputies in Middlesex County starting on this date.



  • First Officer of the Quarter award given

April, 1988

  • All MIT police supervisors sworn in as Middlesex County Deputy Sheriffs.

November, 1988

  • First Lost and Found auction held



January 25, 1989

  • First “Officer of the Year” award given (presented to Officer Francis Kane)



1990, 1992, or 1994

  • Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program started



  • Safety shuttle proposed

Spring, 1990

  • Bicycle patrol proposed by Barbara A. Haven and Robert J. Molino.
    • 8 officers trained to establish a bike patrol with the assistance of the METRO Police



  • Sensitive crime investigation added to the responsibility of the Crime Prevention Unit
    • Coverage includes: crisis intervention, harassment, sexual harassment, stranger and acquaintance rape)

April 22, 1991

  • Crime Prevention Coordinators Network begins
    • Crime prevention coordinators chosen from institute departments to coordinate with campus police to channel information and keep crime prevention awareness up.

April 29, 1991

  • SafeRide begins, Campus police no longer responsible for nighttime shuttles
    • SafeRide staffed by civilians employed by the Campus Police (CP)
    • Van drivers have 2-way radios to maintain contact with the CP
    • Police continue to provide escorts between 4:00 am and daylight, when SafeRide is not in operation.

June, 1991 (possibly 1992)

  • MIT Campus Police Bicycle Patrol Unit begins operation
    • Believed to be one of the first formal, fully equipped patrol of its kind on New England college campuses.
    • Patrols conducted on 2 shifts (7:30am-3:30pm and noon-8:00pm) with no more than 3 bikes out at a time.
    • Officers on bicycles cover a designated foot patrol area, replacing the walking officer

Photograph of Bicycle Patrol, undated

Back row, left to right: Raymond Roberts, D. Kevin Hayes,
Robert Molino, Marbara Haven
Front row: Patsy DiDomenica, Robert Wilcox

October, 1991

  • Additional safety shuttle purchased

November, 1991

  • Project Awareness begins (student liaison group aimed at crime prevention)
    • Each dormitory required to send 2 or 3 students to each meeting of Project Awareness
    • In addition to promoting crime prevention, project Awareness was also intended to make students more aware of the services provided by the police

December, 1991

  • Safety Shuttle shifts from on demand service to a set route shuttle
    • SafeRide runs 2 routes – one through Cambridge and the other through Boston.



  • Officer Recognition and Career Development Program instituted
    • Officers who have served MIT for over 10 years the opportunity to attend a training program related to law enforcement and policing that may not be considered a standard topic
    • Officers completing specialized training received a ribbon of decoration and certificate of program completion
    • Officers having served 20 years also received an MIT wristwatch
  • First annual Crime Prevention Awards Ceremony held
  • Following a murder on campus, Campus Police initiate a team policing program with the Cambridge Police Department to bring city police closer to the perimeter of campus to increase visibility and crime deterrence.
  • StopIt program begins
    • Program is managed by Information Services & Technology (IS&T), in partnership with Ombuds Office and the Campus Police.
    • Program used to electronically report harassing emails, websites, IMs, and the like.

December, 1992

  • Safe Ride doubles its size to 4 vans



  • Serious crime categories from the Annual Report now reformatted to Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) definitions



January, 1994

  • Safe Walk program begins
    • Program is initiated by students with the assistance of the CP
    • CP provide training, radios, and distinctive baseball hats and safety vests for visibility

November, 1994

  • Email list started to keep the MIT community informed about crime on campus



  • Marked Transport Van (#286) added to the department’s fleet.

July, 1995

  • Motorcycle Patrol Unit begins
    • Motorcycle and Bicycle Patrols part of the Special Mobile Operations Patrol

August 29, 1995

  • Large on-campus parties now required to use metal detectors provided by the CP



  • Campus Police Department obtains new computer system (Q.E.D)
  • CP start implementing Law Enforcement Agency Standards and Accreditation as outlined by the Commission on Accreditation
    • Department has been a an active member of the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Coalition (MASSPAC)

August, 1996

  • New website for the Campus Police is unveiled online

December 11, 1996

  • Detective David Bruce presented with a special recognition award by the Mass. Assoc. of College and University Public Safety Directors in recognition of his work creating the MIT Campus Police World wide Web Homepage



November, 1997

  • Cambridge Police start the “Cops in Shops” program with the assistance of MIT and Harvard Campus Police Departments
    • Program places plainclothes officers in liquor stores to cut down on underage drinking

December, 1997

  • Foot patrols changed to 4 month assignments to create continuity of policing.
    • Previously, foot patrols were assigned daily



  • Threat Management Unit created
  • Crime Problems of the Quarter designated by Patrol Division Command staff to focus the problem solving process
  • Parking and transportation were outsourced to a civilian department that reported to the Campus Police.

September, 1998

  • Campus police informally start patrolling Boston area fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups (FSILGs)



  • Finals Pancake Breakfast developed and implemented (Flipping Over Finals/Flapjacks for Finals)
    • Developed by Sgt. Vossmer
  • Security Tracking of Office Products (STOP) tags offered
  • “Pizza and Conversation with the Campus Police” initiative begins
    • Program aimed at promoting interaction between students and CP

January, 1999

  • Community Policing Awards established

February, 1999

  • Police start formally patrolling Boston area FSILGs
    • Police supervisory staff sworn in as Deputy Sheriffs in Suffolk County
    • Department increased in size to accommodate extra patrols
    • Authorized to hire 4 officers, 1 sergeant, and purchase 1 cruiser
    • Patrol area would be a portion of the Back Bay, covering parts of Bay State Rd, Beacon St. Commonwealth Ave., the Fenway, and Hereford St
    • Developed a close working relationship with the Boston METRO Police and Boston University Police.



  • Undergraduate Association (UA) files petition over confidential emergency transport
    • MIT Medical also wanted to see students able to seek medical aid without facing potential penalties from the Police

December, 2000

  • Campus Police Uniforms receive updated colors and designs
    • First change in the uniform since 1957
    • 5th new patch design for the uniform
    • New uniforms designed by Officer Willard J. Boulter, patch designed by Officer Paul F. Valentino
  • Toys for Tickets debuts
    • Program grants amnesty for tickets with the donation of an appropriately priced, nonviolent toy.
    • Program suggested by Sgt. Cheryl N. Vossmer.



March 30, 2001

  • Chief Glavin accepts new senior level position as Director of Public Safety
    • She will remain chief until a replacement is found
    • In her new role she remained a sworn officer; will focus on Institute wide policies and projects

April, 2001

  • Campus police equipped with defibrillators

September, 2001

  • John DiFava named new Chief of Police
    • DiFava planned to promote education programs and positive reinforcement
    • Wanted to focus on customer service
    • Slated to begin October 15, 2001

December 10, 2001

  • John DiFava becomes the Chief of Police
    • DiFava took position 2 months late due to the events of 9/11. Had been asked to temporarily stay on with the Massachusetts State Police for 45 days.


2001 or 2002

  • Command staff restructured



May, 2002

  • Campus Police Department Honor Guard drill team made debut at the Cambridge Memorial Day parade.
    • Honor Guard made up of 7 officers, coached by Lt. Daniel Costa
    • Costa formed the team after being asked by Chief DiFava
    • Class A uniforms for the team include a special cross belt and garrison hat

Summer and Fall, 2002

  • Student-run EMT service begins phasing out the MIT Police for providing emergency services on campus
    • Switch to student-run service began due to concerns that students may not be utilizing the police run EMT service because police reports could be filed if violations were found.

Fall, 2002

  • MIT institutes Campus Crime watch, joining several other Massachusetts campuses.


2002 or 2003

  • Organization restructured, lieutenants responsible for 3 distinct areas: Patrol operations, community policing, and professional standards
  • Mobile command post introduced
  • Bicycle and motorcycle units redesigned as dedicated patrols focusing on parking lots, garages, and other areas


2003 or 2004

  • Community Police Office opened in Stata Center



February, 2004

  • Chief DiFava takes on additional responsibilities and is now director of security and campus police services.
    • In his new role, DiFava will coordinate security related issues on campus and continue to direct the MIT Police



  • New office planned for student center



February 5, 2006

    • MIT Police move to building W89
      • New headquarters include a booking center
      • Police also operate two satellite locations: events registration on 1st floor of W31 (old Campus Police building), and other services located in the Stata Center.


2007 or 2008

      • MIT Detail Office located on lower level of the Stratton Student Center


Photograph (undated) from MIT Office of the Senior Vice President, records of William R. Dickson (AC 525), Institute Archives and Special Collections, MIT Libraries.