The Department of Public Safety announced a new campaign Friday to improve student life and campus safety. Beginning November 1, armed DPS officers will be stationed at the exits of both dining halls to aid cafeteria staff in enforcing takeout container limits.
According to a confidential source, Brown Dining Services came to DPS asking for help as takeout theft has risen drastically over the last several months.
"They asked for our help, and as the public safety and security force for campus, it is our duty to respond," said Director Mark Porter, Chief of Police.
One sergeant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said "The cafeteria staff asked us to watch the situation undercover, and it was ridiculous! Not only were students taking more than one large and one small container, almost 40% were seen taking more than two pieces of hand fruit. The limit of two pieces of hand fruit was calculated scientifically for the good of the community. Students might think it's just an extra orange here and a kiwi for breakfast there, but this really undermines our standards."
DPS held a public hearing to gauge the community's views on the situation. The hearing took place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 29. Notice was given via four table slips at the Ratty earlier that morning.
Officer Porter presided over the hearing, and was pleased to report that no students came to speak in disagreement with the new policy.
Armed campus police officers were selected to fill the new posts. The use of unarmed security personnel was also considered, but the police officers were excited about the opportunity. Since their acquisition of guns and the implementation of weapons training, they have been unable to put their new skills to use in their day-to-day activities of breaking up parties
and responding to propped residence hall doors.
"All our DPS officers are professionals," repeated Officer Porter. They would never use unnecessary force, no matter how egregious the violation. They know how to diffuse a situation nonviolently. Our officers have been trained in nonviolent tactics and racial sensitivity, so no one should be hurt."