The University of Southern California is on track to partially defund its campus police department, granting a wish of students and faculty that eve is supported by the police chief.
The private university recently unveiled multiple police recommendations in an 80-page safety report after the school’s police received heightened scrutiny from the campus.
The Community Advisory Board, which began meeting in September 2020, said USC should “reallocate [funds] where warranted” in an effort to “re-envision its policing strategy.” The reallocation of funds from policing to other functions is a partial defunding.
The partial defunding has won the endorsement of the chief of the Department of Public Safety.
“I am very supportive of the Community Advisory Board and its recommendations,” DPS Chief John Thomas told The College Fix via email.
“I also support the recommendation of having trained professionals handle requests for assistance that aren’t part of the traditional public safety role,” Thomas said. “That includes having trained mental health professionals and social service experts respond to nonviolent mental health calls or calls involving homeless people.”
This recommendation followed a letter submitted by 382 USC faculty members last year that urged the university “to redirect 25 percent of the DPS budget to initiatives that will make underrepresented students and community members feel safer on campus.”
University will not share how much they want to cut
Members of the advisory team that conducted the review would not provide answers to The Fix about how the policy will be implemented and how much money will be taken away.
“I’m afraid I’m caught up in getting everything ready for our students and am unable to reply in greater detail,” Professor Ange-Marie Alfaro told The College Fix via email on August 11. “I believe you’ve read the report; please feel free to use the statement my co-chair and I made at the beginning of the report to clarify our position.”
Public policy professor Errol Southers did not respond to two emailed requests for comment on the same questions, sent on August 5 and August 10. “I will have infrequent access to email until August 23, 2021 and will be out of the country for most of that time,” an automated response sent on August 10 said.
The Fix also contacted the campus College Republicans for comment. Molly Davis referred The Fix to Sage Clark, the conservative group’s director of external relations. Clark did not respond to an August 10 email from The Fix that asked for comment on the recommendations.
For more of this story, visit The College Fix.