STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton Unified School District is considering eliminating its police department.
The school district is one of only a few across the state that runs its own police department. SUSD Board Trustee Lange Luntao is proposing the elimination and is presenting the plan to the full board for a first reading Tuesday.READ MORE: Suspect Arrested In Fatal West Sacramento Shooting Identified As Ernesto Gonzalez
David Rose is the president of the Police Officer’s Association for the district.
“At this point, I’d say surprised and shocked,” Rose said. “I think it’s a very serious reality that we may face being disbanded.”
The proposal comes in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Luntao says he listened to calls for police reform from students and alumni of the district.
“I took their challenge to begin this process of really reimagining what we could do with our resources,” Luntao said.READ MORE: City Of Sacramento Employee Covid Vaccine Numbers Released: Nearly 80 Percent Vaccinated
The police department has an annual budget of $6 million to $8 million. There have already been recent reforms inside the Stockton Unified School District Police Department. A 2019 settlement with the California Department of Justice followed accusations years earlier that the school district referred more Black and Latino students, as well as students with disabilities, to district police than other students.
Now calls for more reform could mean the end for the Stockton Unified School District police department altogether.
“We have limited resources to prioritize student wellness and student learning,” Luntao said.
“I think it would be a tragedy for the Stockton community,” Rose said.
The school board will hear the first reading of this elimination proposal Tuesday. A vote could be set for next month.MORE NEWS: Threats Prompt Safety Precautions At Sacramento-Area Schools
This isn’t the only school district considering eliminating its police department in California. Oakland and Los Angeles Unified School Districts are too.