Vallejo police to withdraw from schools

December 3, 2008 11:51:35 AM PST
Vallejo Police say they will try to help the city's school district make other security arrangements.But, the department still plans to pull its officers off school campuses and put them back on patrol in a cost-cutting move.

Parents and school administrators are outraged.

The City of Vallejo is bankrupt and police have been cutting back like everyone else.

But now that police have emailed the school district that as of December 19t, it's removing its six patrol officers from middle and high school campuses, there is outrage.

"That is just totally unacceptable. We have nearly 17,000 kids here in the school district. We are the largest caretaker of Vallejo's kids. And, so if we're not a priority with the city and the police, who is?" asked Vallejo School District spokesman Jason Hodge.

Outside Vallejo Middle school Wednesday morning that sentiment was shared by parents dropping off their children.

"Because they need security. There's too much stuff going on. There's too much fighting and too much rape and all kinds of stuff going on. They don't need to remove it," said Vallejo resident Lolita Tolliver.

Juanita Zaragoza has children in both middle and high school in Vallejo.

"I don't think it would be wise? Because of the way all these kids act right now? Like they control the school. And, it shouldn't be that way," she said.

Two months ago a janitor was beaten and robbed on a middle school campus. More recently an elementary school lockdown occurred when car thief suspects hid in a bathroom on campus.

1600 students were suspended or expelled from school in this district last school year for weapons, violence or drugs.

Sgt. Sid DeJesus heads up the soon to be disbanded Youth Services Unit that's been on city campuses since the mid 80's.

"The only thing I can really say to address that issue is that the police department will do what we can to maintain our commitment not only to this community, but to the schools itself, " he said.

The school district says it wants to meet with the police department next week and find a compromise. If that fails the district isn't sure what it will do. It admits it was blindsided by this and it doesn't have a plan B.


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