Vallejo officers will stay on campus

December 8, 2008 7:20:11 PM PST
A stay order was issued for worried teachers and parents in Vallejo. Last week they were told the police department would no longer be able to keep cops on campus because of budget problems. Late on Monday some reassuring news came, but it's not a permanent solution.

Vallejo's five high schools and four middle schools share six police officers, Tuesday through Friday. The officers also go to extracurricular events like football games, but the city has filed for bankruptcy, and the police department planned to end that service December 19th -- saving the district and the city more than $500,000 each.

Now, after a closed-door meeting with the mayor, city manager, police chief, and the district, a deal has been struck to keep the officers in place through June of next year.

"It's extremely important to have to maintain and environment where students can come and learn and feel safe," says Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis.

"Our schools have always been safe. Our campuses for the most part are safe. There are obviously things that do crop up from time to time, and this agreement will ensure we have a continued police presence on campuses," said Jason Hodge, with the Vallejo Unified School District.

The mayor says the details will be worked out by the end of the week, but there will probably be fewer officers on campus.

The district says it's grateful nonetheless since 1,600 students were suspended or expelled last year for weapons, violence or drugs. However, Vallejo High School Assistant Principal Edison Kelly says the school officers usually make a difference in a student's life before they're in trouble.

"Yeah it's more prevention than reaction and our resource officers do a good job," said Kelly.

Still, right now there's no guarantee the officers will return in the fall of 2009. We asked district spokesman Jason Hodge is that worries him.

"I'm worried about a lot of things, but the truth is this is a tough economy, but the mayor and the city manager have come to us a partners and we're going to work together to get us through the remainder of the school year," said Hodge.

Hodge sys the district will start planning now for how to keep officers on campus next fall.

The police department had no comment.


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