Rise In Violence At LAUSD After School Police Switches – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In the three months after Los Angeles Unified School District students returned to campus, a CBS2 News investigation found concerns about increased crime as the school board unfunded the police station.

(credit: CBS)

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One-third of the school’s police budget was cut as part of the “defund the police” movement. Officers are not stationed in schools, and some parents are concerned about safety.

The videos obtained by CBS2 Investigates reveal what is bothering some parents.

One video shows a 15-year-old girl knocked down and allegedly attacked by students outside the school.

“I think what happened to my daughter?” Please help me find out what’s going on, ”said Brittany Jackson, who arrived to pick up her daughter just moments after this incident happened. “This is awful, just to see that on school.”

Jackson said her daughter suffered a broken nose and a concussion, and now she is worried about her two children at school.

“I don’t even feel safe sending them. I have to take care of eight hours a day. Will my kids be back from school? ”Jackson said.

Nor is that the only school battle captured by a camera.

Through police sources, CBS2 Investigates obtained video of fights inside classrooms and outside on school grounds. Some have said the increase in fighting is related to a decrease in school police.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that they took all the police out. I am sad behind this. I don’t even know what to say, ”he said.

At a contentious school board meeting in February, the board voted to cut the school police budget by $ 25 million, cutting 133 positions from the school police, including 70 sworn officers, leaving only 211 officers on the force.

The board voted to use some of that money to hire counselors and social workers to try to prevent violence.

Joseph Williams is with Black Lives Matter.

“Police on campuses have an extremely negative impact on students of color,” he said.

However, a principal of LAUSD, who only agreed to speak out if their face and voice were masked, said the schools felt less secure. Asked if the school police are missed on campus, the principal did not hesitate.

“Turege. There is a sense of security, ”said the principal.

CBS2 Investigates also asked if the principal is also concerned with personal safety.

“Now constantly. You think about it when you go to work while you’re at work and go home. Is this worth it? They risk students, faculty, parents, ”said the principal.

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CBS2 asked the school police for crime statistics, but they did not respond to our repeated requests.

However, police sources shared a number of crime reports that show, for example, a criminal threat at Franklin High, an assault and beating of a school employee at Marshal High and a sex crime at Muir Middle School.

According to a bulletin from the Associate Administrators of LA, a union representing administrators in the district, from August to October 2021, there were 108 attacks, with 16 students demanding transportation to the hospital.

(credit: CBS)

Police sources also add that 44 weapons were recovered, including five pistols and 32 knives, and it is not just about not having enough officers to patrol.

“Our officers were ordered, right, to stay off campus,” Gilbert Gamez is president of the Los Angeles School Police Association, the police officer’s union.

“When they went to campus, they were told by employees at the district that they had to leave or‘ what’s your business here? ’” Gamez said. “Some of the officers actually stop and say, ‘Can we use the toilet?’ and they say, “No, you can’t. You’re not allowed on campus anymore.”

However, Williams said police did not always help.

“There were fights in schools, there were incidents on school campuses when school police were still there. School police did not interfere, and in many cases they escalated, and made some of these situations worse,” he said.

CBS2 Investigates wanted to ask LAUSD School Police Chief Leslie Ramirez about what was happening, but she twice canceled an interview.

The office of school member Monica Garcia, who led the cuts, said she is not available for an interview. In fact, all board members, through their offices, either said they were not available or did not respond to our requests.

So, CBS2 Investigates met school board member Nick Melvoin at a public event and what should be down about administrators who are shy and think police should be back on campus.

“We need to do a better job of providing non-police resources. We need to give schools different tools to reimagine public safety so that our employees feel safe while our communities feel safe,” Melvoin said.

Until that happens, however, Jackson fears that crimes like this will continue.

“I don’t want to return them to the public school system, never again,” she said.

The Pomona School District, a few weeks ago, decided to bring back police after removing them from high schools. The LA school board, however, rejected a resolution in September that would have allowed individual high schools and colleges to decide on returning an officer on campus.

Whether or not the added school counselors and social workers are effective depends on who you are talking to. Some said they are better than police officers on campus and students feel better about it, but the test may be after the school year when they will be able to calculate the numbers to see what effect it has on crime.

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