The University of California, Davis has announced plans to undergo a “defunding” of their campus police department and will eliminate three currently vacant officer positions.
According to a University of California, Davis press release, the university announced they will reallocate funding from the three eliminated officer positions to new positions, and also said that three other officer positions have been “repurposed.”
The new positions that will be created are “a public safety policy analyst in Student Affairs; an analyst position to support data, accreditation and transparency efforts within the Police Department; and a new position dedicated to the Health 34 initiative.”
The Health 34 initiative is a new program where fire personnel will receive training in mental health response, and will be dispatched to answer certain calls.
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Three uniformed police officers will also be “repurposed” to focus more on “outreach, education and providing support to the UC Davis community in a non-traditional way.”
The new changes are being implemented as part of a response to multiple campus safety reviews and an incident in November of 2011 where campus police officers pepper-sprayed student protesters.
In the press release, the university also announced they have earned accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, which “is grounded in President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing.”
Although the University of California, Davis has never received law enforcement gear from the federal government’s Laws Enforcement Support Office, the university has also recently changed its procurement policy to ban participation in the program.
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During a protest on Thursday hosted by the University of California, Davis “CopsOffCampus” group, protesters displayed a sign outside of the police department which reads “We will outlive policing,” and drawn on a cardboard cutout of a pig surrounded by smoke.
The group also tweeted “looks like some folks had fun on thursday” and attached pictures of multiple signs on campus spray painted with “F–k 12,” and “ACAB.”
One student at the University of California, Davis who chose to remain anonymous told Fox News that defunding the police isn’t a good idea.
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“There is no reason at all to decrease the number of officers,” the student said. “One of the most important features of campus include the police-run SafeRide system which helps students get home when they’re drunk or feeling unsafe walking alone at night. In general, due to the amount of partying that takes place in a college town, police have to be active to deal with cases of alcohol poisoning.”