Student leaders at California State University-Fullerton in early May voted to defund university police, but it appears administrators won’t follow through.
The College Fix reported that the university’s Associated Students Incorporated passed a resolution on May 4 that called for the university to divest funds from the school’s police department and use that money to hire more mental health counselors. The resolution also called to ban “all aggressive police tactics, lethal firearms, and excessive use of force during student protests, student events, and any other campus situations.”
But as the Fix noted, the student government doesn’t have control over police funds. It would be up to university officials to accept the student resolution — and it appears they have not.
Scott Willey, administrative captain with Fullerton’s campus police department, told the Fix that the CSU chancellor said none of the 23 campuses would have their police departments defunded, disarmed, or dissolved.
Willey also told the outlet that student government leaders didn’t speak to the police department to discuss their demands before passing the resolution and that if they had, they would have realized their training demands had already been implemented.
“If they had come and talked to us we could have given them the whole list of what we do,” Willey told the outlet. “Because you know reform is not new to us, we’re constantly reforming what we do.”
He said the police department had already implemented bias, mental health, and de-escalation training that had been demanded by the student government.
“Anything new that comes out we welcome that, we’re always adapting and changing,” Willey told the Fix.
And it seems like the changes have worked, as complaints against the police department are nearly nonexistent. From the Fix:
Marissa Garza, a spokesperson for the campus police, told The Fix via email that there were five complaints against the UPD in 2019, and all of them were “unfounded.”
Garza added that the police department “respect[s] the rights of our community members to express and voice their concerns in a respectful and lawful manner.”
One former CSUF student told The College Fix she does not want to see police defunded on campus.
“I would say I would feel more scared and definitely less safe,” Aubree Kalinowski said.
Student governments at other universities have also tried to defund campus police departments. As The Daily Wire previously reported, members of Cornell University’s student government tried to pass a resolution last month that would disarm the school’s police, but the resolution failed.
Following that failure, anti-police activists within the student government worked to expel other members who had opposed the resolution and then held a second vote to disarm campus police, which narrowly passed on December 10.
Last month, around the time Fullerton passed their defund police resolution, educators and students across the country took the day off from class to protest the existence of campus police departments, The Daily Wire’s Chrissy Clark reported.