News

Pleasanton city leaders mull changes to local policing

Residents also call to cancel D.A.R.E. program and eliminate school resource officers

Pleasanton residents asked the city for more changes to the Pleasanton Police Department's use-of-force policies, to establish a mental health response program, and to eliminate both school resource officers (SROs) and the 'D.A.R.E.' anti-drug program from local campuses at a special meeting of the City Council and PPD on Thursday night.

The five-hour online meeting included a lengthy review of the police department's budget, use-of-force policies and related staff recommendations, and more than two hours of community input. Officials also used time that evening to identify areas for improvement.

It was the second community conversation on policing reform since last month, when city officials heard public comment at two meetings -- one of them a July 21 event dedicated entirely to the issue. The council asked staff at the time to review PPD's "key existing department use of force policies," as well as their budget, calls for service and mental health response, among other facets.

Near the end of the meeting on Thursday, Councilmember Julie Testa called the discussion that night "a really good beginning" but said she was "frustrated" by the absence of outside consultation to guide the department's policy revision process. She said the council "will have a missed opportunity if we don't go another step and look at the other policies around use-of-force."

"Looking at police policy is something we want a trained perspective for, but there are times when every organization needs an outside perspective and that shouldn't be a threat, and that's what I was hoping to see from this," Testa said. "I do hope that we look at the value of having an independent police auditor type of oversight so that we do have an outside perspective."

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Testa added that "most people have very positive experiences" with the PPD "but there are times when things don't go perfect and where people do have concerns, and then they should have an independent place to turn."

Some attendees criticized the suggested amendments to PPD's use-of-force policies as lacking substantial change.

"What has just been presented is a validation of those who claim that 8 Can't Wait is controversial," John Bauer said, referring to the campaign to reform use-of-force policies in police departments across the country. "Their argument is 'been there, done that' -- and that's what has been presented tonight. No major changes, only a few words added, deleted."

During an earlier presentation, Police Chief David Swing said the department did not recommend changes to some of its policies like shooting at moving vehicles because "not all situations allow time for a warning." There were no recommendations to change the department's use-of-force continuum either.

"It's not possible for us to say what shall be done in all situations because it's the nature of the dynamic (at the time)," Swing said.

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A policy that requires a specific order of escalation of events "is not really aligned with the dynamic nature of police work" and takes away officers' ability to exercise their professional judgment, Swing added.

However, the department suggested adding language to its de-escalation training and practice policy "requiring officers consider and utilize tactics and de-escalation techniques when feasible and when doing so will not reasonably compromise the safety of the officers of the community." They also lobbied for increased de-escalation training among the police force.

PPD also recommended updating their use-of-force policy with language about exhausting all alternatives before using force that "would require officers consider actions that may decrease the need for using force when circumstances permit," as well as "encourages officers to utilize reasonably available alternative tactics which may persuade an individual to voluntarily comply or mitigate the need to use force."

Proposals from the council and audience members for specialized mental health services and response programs prompted discussion about the city's financial status and to consider the cost and need for certain PPD programs and services including SROs and D.A.R.E.

The department's $30.6 million budget this year is largely earmarked for operations and investigations, with each division receiving $13.7 and $6.7 million, respectively. Support services and administrative overhead also received $3.1 and $3.6 million each, followed by $2.8 for the traffic unit and $380,895 for animal services.

With many residents calling on city leaders to develop a response program for mental health crisis calls, Vice Mayor Kathy Narum asked if the current PPD budget had any money for outside mental health services. City Manager Nelson Fialho said the budget is already allocated for this year but there could be other sources.

"I think the question that you're getting at, possibly, is are there revenue sources for a program," Fialho said. "The answer to that, pre-COVID, would've been, 'Absolutely, let's get down to business and implement this as quickly as possible.'

"Post-COVID is 'no'. Our revenues have decreased," Fialho continued. "Is there capacity within the budget to accommodate a program? The answer is yes, we can find the resources, but it will require some policy decisions on the part of the council in terms of the trade-offs throughout the entire city budget. I don't think it's monumental, it's not impossible to do. I think it's quite possible, actually -- but we're going to have to have that discussion publicly."

Fialho added that it also "depends on the scope of the program," noting that a program with mental health specialists available "as the bookends of activity" during identified peak periods for crisis service calls would be "more achievable" than a full-time staffed around-the-clock model.

What that program could look like is still undecided but several types were reviewed as possible blueprints including one program in Eugene, OR, named CAHOOTS that has drawn recent national interest for its long-time success. A similar pilot program through Alameda County is currently underway in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont, and is being evaluated for its efficacy and possible countywide implementation.

Call types in the CAHOOTS response model include "arguments, welfare checks, suicidal ideation, public intoxication, non-criminal juvenile matters, and civil standby." Staff said one consideration for a program like CAHOOTS that's still undetermined is "who would respond to the community needs based on legal authority, time of day, and safety of those responding."

Councilmember Jerry Pentin expressed his support for another alternate response model called PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team), which pairs clinicians with police officers to respond to behavioral health crisis calls and is currently being piloted in different parts of Santa Clara County. With the PERT model, the clinician and officer arrive in an unmarked vehicle and generally not in uniform, though the officer may have "the full complement of safety equipment on his/her person if needed."

The council also considered other model programs such as uniformed officers in marked police vehicles and a clinician in the passenger seat responding to mental health calls.

Callers on Thursday, particularly young people, supported the alternate response models. Many of the 44 speakers that night also advocated eliminating the D.A.R.E. program and getting rid of SROs, which many current and former students said did little good. In the case of SROs -- which are now commonplace on many American campuses to prevent school shootings, according to Swing -- some students said their presence actually made them feel unsafe.

"We are students, not criminals, and police officers have no place in an environment meant to foster learning," said high school student Anica Pohray. "Please remove school resource officers from our schools; they don't make us feel safe, they scare us."

Yash Deshmukh also said he has "never felt any safer at school because an SRO was there."

Deshmukh also criticized the D.A.R.E. program as "ineffective" and said, "Anecdotally, I can tell you it's very ineffective."

D.A.R.E. also drew disapproval from Foothill alum Megan Chung, who said the program's $291,295 budget could be better spent. "What I believe that has been continuously ignored is the fact that D.A.R.E. has been proven to be ineffective ... Fact is that D.A.R.E. is ineffective, yet we spend nearly $300,000 on it yearly when this money could be go towards helping homelessness or mental health."

Testa, Narum and Councilmember Karla Brown also questioned D.A.R.E.'s overall effectiveness but did not call for its cancellation.

Brown said she'd heard "that D.A.R.E. is a good program but ... it really isn't the long-term effect we all hoped for," while Testa shared information from an American Journal of Public Health study that supported Chung's statement.

"When my kids went through PUSD, they all went through D.A.R.E ... but I often wondered why. Almost all of it seemed redundant given the health courses taught in school," Testa said.

Recalling that "it scored very low on having value" in a previous survey of residents, Narum proposed taking another look at the program. "It was not deemed important to the great majority of citizens, unlike public safety and parks and many of the other things that we do," Narum said. "I think this is probably the time to evaluate that program."

The City Council and PPD will host another virtual meeting about policing reform, alternate response models and other related topics at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

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Pleasanton city leaders mull changes to local policing

Residents also call to cancel D.A.R.E. program and eliminate school resource officers

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 24, 2020, 3:18 pm

Pleasanton residents asked the city for more changes to the Pleasanton Police Department's use-of-force policies, to establish a mental health response program, and to eliminate both school resource officers (SROs) and the 'D.A.R.E.' anti-drug program from local campuses at a special meeting of the City Council and PPD on Thursday night.

The five-hour online meeting included a lengthy review of the police department's budget, use-of-force policies and related staff recommendations, and more than two hours of community input. Officials also used time that evening to identify areas for improvement.

It was the second community conversation on policing reform since last month, when city officials heard public comment at two meetings -- one of them a July 21 event dedicated entirely to the issue. The council asked staff at the time to review PPD's "key existing department use of force policies," as well as their budget, calls for service and mental health response, among other facets.

Near the end of the meeting on Thursday, Councilmember Julie Testa called the discussion that night "a really good beginning" but said she was "frustrated" by the absence of outside consultation to guide the department's policy revision process. She said the council "will have a missed opportunity if we don't go another step and look at the other policies around use-of-force."

"Looking at police policy is something we want a trained perspective for, but there are times when every organization needs an outside perspective and that shouldn't be a threat, and that's what I was hoping to see from this," Testa said. "I do hope that we look at the value of having an independent police auditor type of oversight so that we do have an outside perspective."

Testa added that "most people have very positive experiences" with the PPD "but there are times when things don't go perfect and where people do have concerns, and then they should have an independent place to turn."

Some attendees criticized the suggested amendments to PPD's use-of-force policies as lacking substantial change.

"What has just been presented is a validation of those who claim that 8 Can't Wait is controversial," John Bauer said, referring to the campaign to reform use-of-force policies in police departments across the country. "Their argument is 'been there, done that' -- and that's what has been presented tonight. No major changes, only a few words added, deleted."

During an earlier presentation, Police Chief David Swing said the department did not recommend changes to some of its policies like shooting at moving vehicles because "not all situations allow time for a warning." There were no recommendations to change the department's use-of-force continuum either.

"It's not possible for us to say what shall be done in all situations because it's the nature of the dynamic (at the time)," Swing said.

A policy that requires a specific order of escalation of events "is not really aligned with the dynamic nature of police work" and takes away officers' ability to exercise their professional judgment, Swing added.

However, the department suggested adding language to its de-escalation training and practice policy "requiring officers consider and utilize tactics and de-escalation techniques when feasible and when doing so will not reasonably compromise the safety of the officers of the community." They also lobbied for increased de-escalation training among the police force.

PPD also recommended updating their use-of-force policy with language about exhausting all alternatives before using force that "would require officers consider actions that may decrease the need for using force when circumstances permit," as well as "encourages officers to utilize reasonably available alternative tactics which may persuade an individual to voluntarily comply or mitigate the need to use force."

Proposals from the council and audience members for specialized mental health services and response programs prompted discussion about the city's financial status and to consider the cost and need for certain PPD programs and services including SROs and D.A.R.E.

The department's $30.6 million budget this year is largely earmarked for operations and investigations, with each division receiving $13.7 and $6.7 million, respectively. Support services and administrative overhead also received $3.1 and $3.6 million each, followed by $2.8 for the traffic unit and $380,895 for animal services.

With many residents calling on city leaders to develop a response program for mental health crisis calls, Vice Mayor Kathy Narum asked if the current PPD budget had any money for outside mental health services. City Manager Nelson Fialho said the budget is already allocated for this year but there could be other sources.

"I think the question that you're getting at, possibly, is are there revenue sources for a program," Fialho said. "The answer to that, pre-COVID, would've been, 'Absolutely, let's get down to business and implement this as quickly as possible.'

"Post-COVID is 'no'. Our revenues have decreased," Fialho continued. "Is there capacity within the budget to accommodate a program? The answer is yes, we can find the resources, but it will require some policy decisions on the part of the council in terms of the trade-offs throughout the entire city budget. I don't think it's monumental, it's not impossible to do. I think it's quite possible, actually -- but we're going to have to have that discussion publicly."

Fialho added that it also "depends on the scope of the program," noting that a program with mental health specialists available "as the bookends of activity" during identified peak periods for crisis service calls would be "more achievable" than a full-time staffed around-the-clock model.

What that program could look like is still undecided but several types were reviewed as possible blueprints including one program in Eugene, OR, named CAHOOTS that has drawn recent national interest for its long-time success. A similar pilot program through Alameda County is currently underway in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont, and is being evaluated for its efficacy and possible countywide implementation.

Call types in the CAHOOTS response model include "arguments, welfare checks, suicidal ideation, public intoxication, non-criminal juvenile matters, and civil standby." Staff said one consideration for a program like CAHOOTS that's still undetermined is "who would respond to the community needs based on legal authority, time of day, and safety of those responding."

Councilmember Jerry Pentin expressed his support for another alternate response model called PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team), which pairs clinicians with police officers to respond to behavioral health crisis calls and is currently being piloted in different parts of Santa Clara County. With the PERT model, the clinician and officer arrive in an unmarked vehicle and generally not in uniform, though the officer may have "the full complement of safety equipment on his/her person if needed."

The council also considered other model programs such as uniformed officers in marked police vehicles and a clinician in the passenger seat responding to mental health calls.

Callers on Thursday, particularly young people, supported the alternate response models. Many of the 44 speakers that night also advocated eliminating the D.A.R.E. program and getting rid of SROs, which many current and former students said did little good. In the case of SROs -- which are now commonplace on many American campuses to prevent school shootings, according to Swing -- some students said their presence actually made them feel unsafe.

"We are students, not criminals, and police officers have no place in an environment meant to foster learning," said high school student Anica Pohray. "Please remove school resource officers from our schools; they don't make us feel safe, they scare us."

Yash Deshmukh also said he has "never felt any safer at school because an SRO was there."

Deshmukh also criticized the D.A.R.E. program as "ineffective" and said, "Anecdotally, I can tell you it's very ineffective."

D.A.R.E. also drew disapproval from Foothill alum Megan Chung, who said the program's $291,295 budget could be better spent. "What I believe that has been continuously ignored is the fact that D.A.R.E. has been proven to be ineffective ... Fact is that D.A.R.E. is ineffective, yet we spend nearly $300,000 on it yearly when this money could be go towards helping homelessness or mental health."

Testa, Narum and Councilmember Karla Brown also questioned D.A.R.E.'s overall effectiveness but did not call for its cancellation.

Brown said she'd heard "that D.A.R.E. is a good program but ... it really isn't the long-term effect we all hoped for," while Testa shared information from an American Journal of Public Health study that supported Chung's statement.

"When my kids went through PUSD, they all went through D.A.R.E ... but I often wondered why. Almost all of it seemed redundant given the health courses taught in school," Testa said.

Recalling that "it scored very low on having value" in a previous survey of residents, Narum proposed taking another look at the program. "It was not deemed important to the great majority of citizens, unlike public safety and parks and many of the other things that we do," Narum said. "I think this is probably the time to evaluate that program."

The City Council and PPD will host another virtual meeting about policing reform, alternate response models and other related topics at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

Comments

LanceM
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm
LanceM, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Like this comment

All studies that I have seen have shown DARE to have no positive effect in the long term. I'm glad that is being analyzed, and even if you ignroe the science residents don't put much value in it ("it scored very low on having value" in a previous survey of residents").

As for SRO officers, if most students feel like this ;"Please remove school resource officers from our schools; they don't make us feel safe, they scare us." then the police are doing something wrong. Perhaps we should look into why the police are scaring the students. It goes back to that community policing, where the police need to be part of the community not be the punishing overlords. But of course these same students will go to a concert with a few thousand people and see no problem with dozens of police officers.


Rishabh Raj
Registered user
Las Positas
on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:40 pm
Rishabh Raj, Las Positas
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:40 pm
8 people like this

@LanceM I agree with your comments on DARE, but I would like to clarify some things about your comments on the SROs.

The article didn't cover this, but there are far more reasons we students dislike our SROs aside from the fact that they are intimidating. For one, they are ineffective. A 2018 study by the Washington Post found that out of 200 school shootings since 1900, only *1* had been ended by a school resource officer (that being in 2001). This was brought up by multiple speakers at the meeting to address the views of those in the community who continue to hold the belief that "school resource officers are good for us" because of positive experiences they personally had with the police in the past, instead of looking at the actual data.

The other, perhaps more personal reason that other speakers at the listening session brought up is that school resource officers are not helpful in the slightest. For instance, one of my friends at Amador Valley High School, suddenly had a seizure during lunch one day. In response, he was pinned to the ground by our school resource officer, instead of receiving the medical attention he needed. There are countless other stories like this in Pleasanton and in other communities across the US, and in other communities, there's a track record of school resource officers being the start of the infamous "school to prison" pipeline.

Those are the reasons we called for the end of school resource officers. We were disappointed that certain council members opted to side with their own personal experiences to make policy decisions instead of listening to data and facts and stories from the communities, but that just goes to show how important this upcoming election is.

Your comment about kids going to concerts and not being bothered by officers makes no sense, by the way. We still recognize the need for police in every day life (ex: ensuring safety at a concert), but we don't want them where they're not needed (ie, schools).


paine
Registered user
Del Prado
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:34 am
paine, Del Prado
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:34 am
11 people like this

So much wrong with the thoughts above.. Your take from the study you cite is misleading, and factually incorrect. By "ending" the threat, they are citing being killed by law enforcement. There are studies that provide many concrete examples of the effect of law enforcemtn response on and active shooter.

Intimidating? that's your perspective. Pinning down a kid with a seizure? I just plain don't believe that, stop relying on rumors and fourth hand off-base anecdotes to draw your conclusions. If that was the case where is the lawsuit?

Don't drink the koolaid


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm
10 people like this

"There are countless other stories like this in Pleasanton and in other communities across the US, and in other communities, there's a track record of school resource officers being the start of the infamous "school to prison" pipeline."


In other words, we just can't have accountability for students who may pose a threat to others/disrupt the learning process? We just need to make excuses for it - and let them go. Sounds just like what happened with Nikolas Cruz in Parkland. He was a known threat and was sent to an Obama era diversionary program vs. being criminally charged and/or involuntarily committed. If he'd been charged/committed, he would have failed a firearms background check.


Name hidden
Amberwood/Wood Meadows

Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Name hidden, Amberwood/Wood Meadows

Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Rishabh Raj
Registered user
Las Positas
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Rishabh Raj, Las Positas
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm
5 people like this

@paine

Here is the link to the article I referenced: Web Link

Please tell what part of my take was "factually incorrect." Yes, I acknowledge that there are other ways of ending the threat that school resource officers have used in the past — but the fact remains amount of times school resource officers across the US have failed to successfully stop or end a school shooting far outnumber the amount of times they succeed.

The idea that school resource officers are intimidating is not just my own perspective. It is also the perspective of many of the youth who spoke at the last city council meeting. And given that we students, you know, go to the schools with school resource officers, our perspective has to be considered and shouldn't be discounted.

My story about my friend being pinned to the ground by an SRO rumors and "fourth hand off-base anecdotes." I'm talking about a friend who had to go through that and event that countless of my peers witnessed firsthand. I would tell you his name, but he was a minor at the time of incident and I want to respect his privacy. Choosing to not believe this anecdote because there wasn't a lawsuit in response makes no sense. If you know about qualified immunity, you'd know that a lawsuit would have likely failed to hold that officer accountable for his actions at all. I cannot speak on behalf of my friend, but in many other cases, victims do not have the means or even the desire to go through the long and arduous process of a lawsuit because they would have to re-live through that trauma.

You, my friend, should stop drinking the kool-aid


Rishabh Raj
Registered user
Las Positas
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Rishabh Raj, Las Positas
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm
4 people like this

@MichaelB Your comment is unfortunately the exact point-of-view that has prevented meaningful police reform from happening in this country. You're stuck with the idea that incarceration and policing have to be the solution for every problem. We are not advocating for a world where we get rid of police and do nothing else to fix societal issues — that would obviously be bad. We are advocating for preventative measures, in the form of mental health counselors and other social services, that never let the mental conditions of say, Nikolas Cruz, reach a point where they become a threat to themselves or others around them. School resource officers are inherently a reactionary measure. They do not deter future behavior, especially for kids going through a mental health crisis. The police are useful in many instances, but not in schools. The best way to address students "who may pose a threat to others/disrupt the learning process" is be proactive, not reactive.

And while we're on the topic of Nikolas Cruz, your idea that charging with a crime and incarcerating him would've prevented him from obtaining a firearm ignores crucial facts around the incident. Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel was removed from his job for not addressing the loopholes that allowed Cruz to obtain a firearm, despite his record of threatening behavior. Nothing would've changed if Cruz had gone to jail — the second he would get out, he would've been able to get a gun just as easily because of both the mass proliferation of firearms and the corresponding lack of gun control in this country. Incarceration is, yet again, not the solution.

And please provide a source for the "Obama era diversionary program that he went to" — he did receive help from social services, yes. But none of these services were signed into law or created by Obama, and they were clearly quite inadequate.

Oh, and guess how school resource officer Scot Peterson responded to the Parkland shooting? He hid behind his vehicle for 5 minutes and failed to confront Cruz. That is exactly what the article I referenced in my comment above proves to be a national trend and evidence for why we shouldn't want SROs, because they are very clearly ineffective.


Mike
Registered user
Del Prado
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:40 pm
Mike, Del Prado
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:40 pm
6 people like this

Raj:

Two things:

I've taken a few first aid course and combat care courses. When someone is having a seizure, the proper and only thing to do is to keep them from hitting anything around them. That's it. Maybe call 911. Was the RSO holding your friend down to keep him/her from moving around and possibly getting injured? To your friends it might have looked like the RSO was holding them down.

As far as the RSO only once stopping a shooting. How many shooting were prevented because a RSO was on sight. We will never know.

As a former cop with 20 years of experience, I know the RSO was an easy Mon-Fri gig for the cop.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:04 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:04 am
8 people like this

"And while we're on the topic of Nikolas Cruz, your idea that charging with a crime and incarcerating him would've prevented him from obtaining a firearm ignores crucial facts around the incident. Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel was removed from his job for not addressing the loopholes that allowed Cruz to obtain a firearm, despite his record of threatening behavior. Nothing would've changed if Cruz had gone to jail — the second he would get out, he would've been able to get a gun just as easily because of both the mass proliferation of firearms and the corresponding lack of gun control in this country. Incarceration is, yet again, not the solution. "


More misguided reasoning. If he's in jail, he can't commit a school shooting. Guns (objects) "cause" violence - but criminals somehow do not. Firearms have been around in this nation for years, criminals are not going to comply with new gun laws/bans, and the "mass proliferation" (whatever that means) claims as a cause of violence do not hold up under closer scrutiny. There are millions of citizens who own/have permits to carry guns - and do absolutely nothing wrong with them.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:12 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:12 am
8 people like this

"And please provide a source for the "Obama era diversionary program that he went to" — he did receive help from social services, yes. But none of these services were signed into law or created by Obama, and they were clearly quite inadequate."


Web Link


Juan Hidalgo Garcia Jr
Registered user
Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 1:07 pm
Juan Hidalgo Garcia Jr, Amberwood/Wood Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2020 at 1:07 pm
16 people like this

Rishabh Raj -

I’m glad you posted because your position seems very similar to the 40 debate club members that called the city council. Nobody really had a chance to flesh out their position, beyond not really liking school resource officers and a lot of talk about the “school to pipeline.”

I think it is fair to assume that officers who are stationed at the school full time will necessarily be more familiar with the students, the staff, the parents, and other school issues. When they respond to crimes at the school, they have the benefit of this information, as well as the additional training discussed in the meeting. If we were to remove school resource officers, the schools will continue to contact the police to deal with criminal conduct (removing school resource officers will not change this fact). Rather than an officer who is familiar with the school, the students, the staff, the parents, etc, a regular beat cop is going to respond to these situations. Without there benefit of the additional training and resources of the school resource officers, these officers will be far more likely to revert to traditional police strategies - enforcing the law.

How do you see this dynamic improving the “school to prison pipeline” or improving relationships between students and the police?

From first glance, it appears your solution would further exacerbate the problems you are hoping to solve.


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