Los Angeles school police chief resigns after public school board cuts budget


The Los Angeles Unified School District police chief resigned Wednesday, a day after the school board cut his budget by $ 25 million, saying the reductions impede his ability to serve the community effectively.

In a statement, Todd Chamberlain said the cuts placed him in a “position that makes my ability to impact effectively, professionally and safely unattainable.”

“I cannot support modifications in my position, the organization and most importantly, the community (students, staff and families) that I believe will be harmful and life threatening,” he added.

Chamberlain, a 33-year-old police veteran who previously retired from the Los Angeles Police Department, had been on the job for only a few months. He was named new district chief in November.

The move came a day after the Los Angeles Unified School Board narrowly approved a measure to cut the district police budget by $ 25 million during a one-hour meeting Tuesday.

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The 4-3 vote also required officers to be taken off campus and out of uniform until a district task force issues a report. The cuts will lead to layoffs for 65 officers and the elimination of overtime and 39 vacant positions, KCBS-TV reported.

The Los Angeles School Police Department has about 410 sworn officers and 101 non-sworn security officers, according to the department. The $ 25 million cuts will be diverted to other programs and included in the district’s $ 8.9 billion general budget.

“And hopefully we will increase the $ 25 million we made tonight. Because there is more work to be done, “said board member Monica Garcia, who wrote the resolution along with board member Jackie Goldberg, as EdSource reported.” And, I have to say out loud, the work of Black Lives. Matter, of anti-racist policies, of equity, is before us. “

Garcia initially tried to cut the police budget by $ 35 million, a 50 percent reduction, but relented when Goldberg offered an alternative motion, according to LAist.

“This budget reflects our commitment to do everything possible to help students continue to learn while dealing with the impact of the pandemic,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner in a statement. “We hope that this provisional budget needs to be reviewed when the state provides updated information on the school budget later this year.”

Chamberlain had told the board that the effects of the cuts would reverberate almost immediately.

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“It is not going to offer the kind of community policing or the kind of service that our community deserves,” Chamberlain said.

Board member Richard Vladovic, who voted against the cuts, begged his colleagues to wait, saying: “We are going into this without knowing where we are going and how we are going to get there.”