Citizens Protest L.A. School District’s Police Budget

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s police department is under fire from community members upset with the police force’s $57 million budget and school security tactics.

Hundreds of people attended a Los Angeles school district’s public hearing June 16 to voice their concerns over the school police budget.

At the Los Angeles Unified School District’s hearing Superintendent Ramon Cortines proposed adding roughly $2 million to the district police department, but many concerned parents, faculty and citizens disagreed with Cortines’ idea.

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LAUSD has the largest school police department in the country, employing over 350 officers with a budget of about $57 million. Armed officers watch students enter and leave school and maintain campus security.

Over 100 citizens attended the hearing, and 75 of them were able to formally address the board while others shouted protests against the school police department’s practices and budget. The school board will vote on police funding along with the entire district budget June 23.

Last fall the department was engulfed in controversy when police called for 80 new officers to protect students as they walked home with iPads. The force later redacted their statement. Reports also surfaced last fall that the department owned a tank, grenade launchers and over 60 assault rifles handed down from government agencies and the military, according to Obama has since made an executive order banning similar weapons in local police forces and school police departments.

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