LOS ANGELES, Calif.— Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to strengthen oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) Law Enforcement Services Agreements with school districts and increase access to County services for students and teachers. This motion requires LASD to return to the Board for approval for new contracts or contract extensions with any school district, 90 days before the start date.
“It is important to note that this motion is about the Board pulling back its delegation of authority to the Sheriff. Our vision is that local school boards will become more aware of the wide range of array of County services through working directly with the Board. This reduces the reliance on law enforcement for non-law enforcement needs” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell “By requiring Board approval instead of limiting a local school district to only the services that the Sheriff has available to him, our schools and students gain access to all County services.”
“There is compelling evidence that law enforcement presence on school campuses can have unintended negative impacts on students,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “The data collected on LA County school safety as a result of this motion will assist local school districts, who are the ultimate decisionmakers, make research-based decisions and consider alternative strategies for supporting school safety and student health and well-being on campus.”
Currently, 17 school districts – that include elementary, middle, and high schools – contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for full-time law enforcement known as School Resource Deputies (SRD) and spend about $8 million annually on full time SRD’s. While the Sheriff has begun collecting limited data on this program, more oversight and data collection is needed. The motion helps address this by incorporating quarterly data metrics to track the conduct and impact of SRDs on students and by giving the Office of Inspector General the ability to conduct necessary oversight.”
The motion includes nine directives related to the Office of Inspector General, Chief Executive Office, Office of Diversion and Re-entry, and other relevant County departments. Key directives include: leading community and education stakeholders in creating a plan to collect and publicize data metrics on the conduct and impact of law enforcement in schools districts and to recommend evidence-based prevention and alternative services proven to support the well-being and educational achievement of students.
To read the full motion approved by the Board click here.