Los Angeles School Board Cuts 133 Police Department Positions
Additionally, the use of pepper spray has been banned, and $25 million will be diverted from the Los Angeles School Police Department’s budget.
Los Angeles – In a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education voted to cut 133 positions from the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD). The board also voted to ban the use of pepper spray on students by officers and divert $25 million in funding from the LASPD to support black students.
After the reduction in personnel, LASPD will have 211 officers. Seventy sworn officers will be cut and replaced at secondary school sites by school climate coaches who will help mentor students, reports CBSN Los Angeles. Additionally, 62 nonsworn officers and one support employee will be cut.
According to the LAUSD, these are the positions that will be cut:
- Deputy Chief 1
- Lieutenant 5
- Sergeant 3
- Detective 14
- Senior Police Officer 19
- Police Officer 28
- Safety Officer Sergeant 5
- School Safety Officer 57
- Senior Secretary 1
“It has been eight long months since the news of this action was announced and the process of evaluating the potential impact commenced,” said LASPD Chief Leslie Ramirez in a statement. “From the onset, the depth and significance of this action was obvious and today’s decision brings the realism of a forthcoming LASPD reform to our service delivery model. As we move forward, clarity will be sought on the task force recommendation for the elimination of OC spray on students, as LASPD input was not included in the final language presented.
“The LASPD’s commitment to remain focused on supporting the District and providing safety-related services that support student achievement and positive outcomes is paramount. We have already initiated our plans to implement a service model and deployment strategy that aligns with protecting our school communities based on reforms that limit on-campus uniform presence. Although LASPD was not part of the decision making relative to the new policy recommendations that were announced today, we feel the proposed policy language has potential liabilities, lacks clarity, and will result in unintended consequences impacting the safety of students and staff.”
Before the board voted on the cuts to LASPD, it conducted a poll, which found that most students, parents and district employees supported school police on campus. However, only 35% of Black students felt safe when the officers were present.
The $25 million cut from LASPD’s budget will be redirected to the Black Student Achievement Plan, which supports Black students with school climate and wellness programs, social workers, counselors and professional development.
The changes are expected to be implemented later this year.