Sacramento police chief says Twin Rivers PD needs to disband

5:57 PM, Sep 9, 2012   |    comments
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Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel

SACRAMENTO- Sacramento's top cop believes Twin Rivers Unified School District's embattled police department needs to be disbanded.

Chief Rick Braziel says in this tight economy, Twin Rivers Unified could save a $1 million by contracting out for police services.

Braziel cited two reasons:

1. The school police department doesn't work.

2. Contracting police servies out would save a lot of money.

Two Sacramento Police Department leaders brought in eight months ago to help guide the Twin Rivers police department just submitted their resignation letter.

"They were hired at Twin Rivers to reform a police department. That's a very difficult challenge when you've got years of abuse, mismanagement-- for two very senior, very talented, law enforcement executives to go in and turn an organization around," Braziel said.

Braziel says disbanding the department would allow the school district to focus on educating students and for the contracted municipal police department to focus on public safety.

District Assistant Superintendent Tom Janis said in a statement the district has no plans to disband the department.

"Right now, the district is moving forward to improve the police department's operations to be focused on our school campuses and to rebuild a positive reputation in the community."

"It is really a more efficient way to run an organization," said Braziel.

Braziel said another reason to disband the school police department is about the bottom line. Twin Rivers Police Department's annual budget is nearly $4 million.

Braziel says Twin Rivers could save $1 million by contracting with Sacramento Police Department.

"That's $1 million you can invest back into children," the chief said.

Sacramento City Unified School District partners with the Sacramento Police Department for police services. Because of that partnership, the police department can apply for grants that the school district alone cannot.

"Not only are we cheaper for Sac City Unified, but we brought in over the last 18 months $1.8 million dollars in grants," Braziel said.

Braziel says contracting out police services opens up doors and opens up opportunities.

"At this point in time, with all the crisis, just a good business decision," he said.

It'll be up to the Twin Rivers Unified school board to decide whether to take action.

Braziel will be meeting with the new interim superintendent this week, getting him up to speed on what services the Sacramento Police Department could provide if indeed the district wants to partner up.

By Suzanne Phan,
Twitter: @suzannephan


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