Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sacramento Police Chief says Twin Rivers PD needs to disband -

Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel

SACRAMENTO- Sacramento's Top Cop says Twin Rivers Unified School District's embattled police department needs to be disbanded.

Chief Rick Braziel says in this tight economy, Twin Rivers Unified could save a $1 million dollars by contracting out for police services.

Chief Braziel cites two reasons.

Number one... The school police department doesn't work.

Number two... Contracting out would save a lot of money.

Two Sacramento Police Department leaders --brought in 8 months ago to help guide the Twin Rivers Police department--just submitted their resignation letter.

"They were hired at Twin Rivers to reform a police department. That's a very difficult challenge when you've got years of abuse, mismanagement-- for 2 very senior, very talented, law enforcement executives to go in and turn an organization around."

Chief Braziel says disbanding the department would allow the school district to focus on educating students and for the contracted municipal police department to focus on public safety.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Janis says the District has no plans to disband the department.

"Right now, the district is moving forward to improve the police department's operations to be focused on our school campuses and to rebuild a positive reputation in the community."

"It is really a more efficient way to run an organization,l" said Braziel.

Chief Braziel says the number two reason to disband the school police department is about the bottom line.

Twin River Police Department's annual budget is nearly 4 million dollars.

Chief Braziel says Twin Rivers (Unified School District) could save $1 million dollars by contracting with Sacramento Police Department.

"That's one million dollars you can invest back into children."

Sac City Unified partners with Sac P-D for police services. Because of that promising partnership, SacPD can apply for grants that the school district alone cannot.

"Not only are we cheaper for Sac City Unifed, but we brought in-- over the last 18 months-- $1.8 million dollars in grants.

Braziel says contracting out police services opens up doors and opens up opportunities.

"At this point in time, with all the crisis, just a good business decision," said Braziel.

It'll be up to the Twin Rivers Unified school board to decide whether to take action on disbanding its current police department.

Braziel will be meeting with the new interim superintendent this week, getting him up to speed on what services SacPD could provide if indeed the district wants to partner up.

By Suzanne Phan,

Twitter: @suzannephan


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