Opinion open letter

MIT, it’s time to support your police officers

Since November, the MIT Police Association has distributed more than 6,000 flyers[1] to students and faculty. Standing outside campus interrupting you as you make your way to class is not something we want to do. But unfortunately, it has become our reality. The response from faculty and students has been overwhelming — thank you! However, the school and Chief DiFava continue to show zero respect or support to rank-and-file officers.

The 42 officers of the MIT Police Association have been working without a contract since last July. We’ve met 16 times, but the school continues to refuse to address reasonable quality of life and economic issues. At the heart of the negotiation is the question of whether MIT will follow the lead of Harvard and Boston University in mitigating the impact of inflation, acknowledging the extraordinary new burdens imposed on police officers, and ensuring that it will continue to attract and retain officers with the highest quality through providing comparable contract improvements. All we are asking for is a modest raise so we can support our families.

In fact, Chief DiFava defended the MIT Police Civilian Dispatchers in the Public PERF Report, calling their jobs demanding and competitive and advocating for better pay. Why hasn’t the Chief publicly supported our request for competitive wages? We are asking him and the school to acknowledge that MIT police officers are valued members of the MIT community.

You came to MIT because it’s a well-respected, world-class university, an international leader in academia. Our officers are proud to work at such a well-respected institution. We only wish our police chief and school officials felt the same way about us.


Melissa Sullivan, representative of MIT Police Association and former Cambridge resident 


[1] The association distributed flyers outside campus Nov. 16, Jan. 11 and Feb. 6