The San Leandro Police Department applied for a $500,000 COPS grant to fund a total of four school resource officers (SRO’s). The SLPD, however, neglected to let the City Council and the School Board know that they would be on the hook for $1.69 million in matching funds. Any money spent on the SROs would have to be diverted from other uses. In the case of the school district, it might mean further cutting educational programs and not being able to restore counselors and nurses.
I contacted candidates for Mayor, City Council and School Board to ascertain how they would vote on this grant.
Candidates Jeanne Kinkella and Peter Oshinski are both in favor of accepting the COPS grant and having the school district pay the whole $1.69 million.
Candidate Evelyn Gonzalez believes that the the City should continue to pay for the two current SROs, and that the District should not spend money on the officers.
Candidate Monique Tate did not respond to my request for her position on this issue.
Area 4 Seat
Candidate Leo Sheridan said he did not support the District paying the full $1.69 million but he did not specify how it should be split. He does support keeping just two SROs at the district.
Candidates Chike Udemezue and Latrina Dumas did not respond to my request for their positions on this issue.
Diana Souza favors accepting the grant and splitting he $1.69 million costs between the City and the school district. She did not specify on what ratio. She is endorsed by the Police union.
Dan Dillman opposes the school district accepting the grant, but believes that if it does, it should pay the full amount.
Pauline Cutter supports maintaining the status quo, with the City funding two SROs. If the School District wants more than two, Cutter believes the District should pay for the additional officers.
Gregg Daly opposes accepting the grant.
David Anderson favors accepting the grant and splitting the costs between the City Council and the School District.
Mike Katz-Lacabe opposes accepting the grant and notes that research has found SROs do not make schools safer
Deborah Cox and Ken Pon would not take a public stance on this issue. Cox is endorsed by the Police union.
Lee Thomas favors accepting the grant and splitting the costs between the City Council and the School District. He is endorsed by the Police union.
Allen Schoenfeld and Victor Aguilar favor maintaining the status quo, with the City continuing to pay for the two existing SROs.
Corina Lopez believes it’s the responsibility of the City, not the school district, to pay for law enforcement. She did not specify whether the City should continue paying for the two existing SROs or accept the grant and pay the whole $1.69 million to bring them up to four.
Mia Ousley opposes accepting the grant.
Leah Hall would not take a public stance on this issue.