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Community Digest

Long Beach : Parents Lend Support to Proposal for Campus Police

November 09, 1989

School board member Jerry Shultz's proposal to create a campus police department gained support this week from a group of parents concerned about crime in and near Wilson High School.

More than 90 parents attended a special PTA meeting that convened Monday night to discuss school security.

Several of the parents said their daughters are afraid to walk alone on campus since a 14-year-old girl was assaulted in a Wilson High bathroom Oct. 25 by a stranger holding a sharp knife. Carrie Trepp received several cuts on her face before she struck the man and ran away, according to her mother, Jacqueline Trepp.

In a separate incident last month, a man who claimed to be a plainclothes security officer ordered a student to disrobe to prove she was not carrying a weapon. The girl refused and the man exposed himself, Principal Lawrence Burnight said.

Since those incidents, some teachers have volunteered to patrol hallways during time set aside for parent and student conferences, Burnight told the parents. There also are more staff assistants standing guard by the school's gates, and new hallway passes for both students and visitors will be used, Burnight said.

Echoing the feelings of others gathered in the school's library Monday, parent Dick Alshin said: "I feel it's time for police protection."

Many of the parents said they plan to attend the school board meeting on Monday to voice their support for converting campus security guards--who say they have little power to stop crime--to police officers.

The majority of the board opposes the concept of a Long Beach Unified School District police department. Board member Harriet Williams, whose district includes Wilson High, told the parents Monday night that she has opposed the concept for years and could not say whether she would change her position. But, she added, "I'm hearing you."

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