School Police Department Tough Sell for So. Cal. District

Published: July 30, 2007

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Members of the Coachella Valley Unified School District want to form their own police department, but the board is not yet convinced.

The Riverside County Sherriff’s Department currently provides security for Coachella Valley Unified. But between protecting the community and providing security for the other schools in the valley, school officials worry the department’s resources might be stretched too thin. The administration says that school officers are often pulled from the campus if a crime happens somewhere else in the community. Even on the best of days, officers are usually only on school grounds for three or four hours.

However, board members worry that the presence of too many officers will have a negative impact on campus culture.

Currently, only 25 other districts in California have their own police departments. Superintendent Foch “Tut” Pensis says he plans to hold community forums over the next three months where members can express their opinions.

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