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Effective L.A. School Police

March 09, 1997

* Re "Plan to Merge Police Agencies Falters," March 4: Councilman Nate Holden's remarks are both insulting and without merit. As a police officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District, I am one of those "misfits."

Some facts Holden should know: Who patrolled and kept secure more than 900 school district sites during the 1992 riots without even one location being vandalized or burglarized? Who did the same during the Northridge earthquake? And who was it that secured our elementary school campuses in the immediate area of the Feb. 28 North Hollywood bank robbery shootout? The Los Angeles School District Police, that's who.

A recent study indicated that 16% of Los Angeles Police Department statistics come from school police-generated reports. This does not include the countless calls for service handled by the department that do not require crime reporting.

Yes, Mr. Holden, there are misfits on any department, including the LAPD, just as there are misfits on the City Council. I am not a "LAPD reject." I chose the school police for my own reasons, just as some may choose to run for county supervisor instead of the City Council.

Officers of our department train at full, state-certified, law enforcement academies and as such are eligible to transfer to other departments, just as some LAPD officers have transferred to our depart- ment.

DANNY M. STEPHENS

Gardena

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