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Crime Rates Increase At SD Schools

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Video published October 29, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: How have school budget cuts affected the number of police officers on campus in recent years? What provisions exist in Proposition J, the parcel tax ballot measure, to pay for public safety in city schools? We'll talk to KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis about crime on campus and find out whether there's a connection between the timing this news and the upcoming election.

How have school budget cuts affected the number of police officers on campus in recent years? What provisions exist in Proposition J, the parcel tax ballot measure, to pay for public safety in city schools? We'll talk to KPBS education reporter Ana Tintocalis about crime on campus and find out whether there's a connection between the timing this news and the upcoming election.

Guest

KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

CRIME IS ON THE RISE IN SAN DIEGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AT A TIME WHEN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S POLICE FORCE MIGHT BE SHRINKING. SAN DIEGO UNIFIED AS ONE AS 16 SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT HAS ITS OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT. THE OFFICERS SERVE AS THE EYES AND EARS AT LOCAL CAMPUSES. OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS THE DISTRICT'S POLICE BUDGET HAS BEEN SLASHED BY 45%. JOINING ME NOW ON MORE OF THE STORY IS EDUCATION REPORTER ANNA. WHY DOES THE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEED ITS OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT?

YOU'RE RIGHT. MOST SCHOOL DISTRICTS DON'T HAVE THEIR OWN --IN CALIFORNIA THERE ARE 16 SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH THEIR OWN DEDICATED POLICE DEPARTMENTS. BUT THE SCHOOL CRICKETS TEND TO --BUT THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TEND TO BE THE LARGEST. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT 132,000 STUDENTS. 22,000 SCHOOL WORKERS. SO YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE. IT'S LIKE ITS OWN LITTLE CITY. YOU HAVE A LOT OF POSSIBILITIES FOR ATTENTION ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE ARE TEENAGERS AND KIDS. A LOT OF OUTSIDE FORCES SHOW UP ON THE CAMPUS WHETHER IT'S DRUGS, VIOLENCE, OR GANG ACTIVITY.

IS THAT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT? IS THAT THE CRIMES THEY ARE MOST CONCERNED WITH?

YEAH WHEN IT COMES TO THE RECENT REPORT THERE HAS BEEN A 15% INCREASE OVERALL IN TERMS OF CRIME ON CAMPUS. AND VIOLENT CRIME THE VIOLENT CRIME RATE IS GOING UP 31% AND THAT INCLUDES ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON ON CAMPUS. IT COULD ALSO BE A ROBBERY AND IT COULD ALSO BE JUST PHYSICAL FIGHTS BATTERY. YOU ALSO HAVE AN INCREASE IN PROPERTY CRIME AS WELL AS A WEAPONS VIOLATION. FIREARMS AND KNIVES ON CAMPUS. I DO WANT TO SAY WE HAVE TO TAKE A CAREFUL LOOK AT THE NUMBERS. THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK THIS YEAR. THEY ARE TRYING TO SHOW THIS IS A PROBLEM IN OUR SCHOOLS. THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH. YOU NEED US. YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THE NUMBERS ARE NOT INFLATED.

RIGHT. I DO WANT TO GET TO THAT MOMENTARILY. HOW WOULD THE 45% CUT WE TALKED ABOUT EFFECT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ITSELF? WOULD WE SEE OFFICERS CUT OUT OF THE FORCE?

THAT IS WHAT YOU'RE SEEING. THE SCHOOL POLICE CHEF DON BROWN SAID WE HAD A 45% INCREASE AND 45 POSITIONS HAVE BEEN CUT. THESE SCHOOL POLICE OFFICERS ARE DEDICATED TO SCHOOLS. THEY MAKE THEIR ROUNDS. THEY HIT THE PAVEMENT. THEY ARE OUT MEETING WITH KIDS. THEY HAVE SPECIAL TRAINING IN DEALING WITH KIDS. THEY ARE ALSO LIKE COUNSELORS.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS BEING POLITICAL SEASON. PROPOSITION J. PARCEL TAX WOULD RAISE MONEY FOR THE SCHOOLS. BUT THERE HAS BEEN SOME CRITICISM LEVEL THAT MAYOR SANERS FOR HOLDING A SERIES OF TOWN HALL MEETINGS WHICH IN A WAY ARE SUPPORTIVE OF PROPOSITION D. IS THAT THE REAL REASON THAT WE'RE NOW HEARING ABOUT THE INCREASE IN CRIME IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT?

YEAH. YOU DO SEE SOME PARALLELS IN WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH CITY POLITICS AND SCHOOL DISTRICT POLITICS. BOTH ARE LOOKING AT HUGE BUDGET CUTS. IN THE DISTRICT YOU ARE SEEING MORE OF DISTRICT OFFICIALS GETTING OUT THERE WITH THESE NEWS CONFERENCES TO MAKE A CONNECTION IN VOTERS MINDS WE NEED TO PRESERVE THE DEPARTMENTS. THIS IS THE WAY WE CAN DO IT BY FINDING EXTRA REVENUE. AND IN PROPOSITION J WHICH WOULD RAISE $50 MILLION ANNUALLY WOULD HELP THEM DO THAT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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