Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Donald G. Phelps has announced that he has formed a committee to review the function and effectiveness of the district's campus police departments.
The committee, headed by district Vice Chancellor Neil Yoneji, will study the economic effect of campus police on the district, Phelps said Wednesday at a district Board of Trustees meeting.
The announcement came on the same day Pierce College's campus newspaper, the Roundup, published a front-page story reporting that, according to "undisclosed sources," campus police at all nine district colleges "could be disbanded and replaced by security guards . . . "
But both Phelps and Fausto Capobianco, district public affairs director, said reports such as that published in the Roundup are "strictly rumor."
"Any reports of disbanding the campus police are completely false and anybody who attributes it to the chancellor is wrong," Capobianco said.
Pierce Police Officer Al Reddick, who also is president of the American Federation of Teachers College Police Guild, said he had no knowledge of the committee until after if was formed.
"I was not consulted," he said. "I never even knew the committee was being formed."
Reddick said the campus police force has not been reviewed since he began working for the district in 1976.
"That's a possibility, but we've never had a budget problem like we have now," Capobianco said.
As originally formed, the committee consisted of five college presidents and no police representative. But after Leon Marzillier, Faculty Guild president, told Phelps that he "had hoped a representative from the AFT Police Guild could be on the committee" at Wednesday's meeting, the chancellor agreed to include police.
"The chancellor extended an invitation to me and to a police captain to be chosen by the Council of Police Captains," Reddick said.
"This issue is too important to limit only to the college presidents, because it will affect the entire college community--students, faculty, staff and visitors."