The University of California, Davis, is defunding its campus police department and is eliminating existing police positions. The school has issued a press release that says it is moving funds allocated for three campus police officers to other jobs and that three different police department positions are being “repurposed.”
The new positions being created as replacements for police officers include a public safety policy analyst, a data analyst for police department transparency efforts, and a new “Health 34 initiative” position. Health 34 is a new program for training fire department personnel in mental health responses when dispatched on fire calls.
The three uniformed officers being repurposed will focus on “non-traditional outreach, education, and support” for the UC Davis community.
According to the university, The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators has also accredited the university. That group says it is “grounded” in Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
UC Davis has also changed its procurement policy to show that it will not participate in a program that would provide equipment through the federal Law Enforcement Support Office. The school has never participated in the program in the past.
CopsOffCampus is a university group that protested outside the school’s police department last week with a sign declaring the group “will outlive policing.” The sign also depicted a pig in a cloud of smoke.
The same group posted a tweet depicting campus vandalism on Thursday, stating that “some folks had fun.”
One student told Fox News that the “defund the police” movement on campus was not a good idea, saying “there is no reason to decrease the number of police officers.” The student added that the campus police provide essential services, including the SafeRide program that helps students who do not want to drive under the influence or avoid walking alone at night. The student added that campus police help handle Davis’s “amount of partying” like other college towns.