OAKLAND, Calif. - The Peralta Community College District plans to end its relationship with Alameda County sheriff’s deputies patrolling its campuses and responding to emergencies.
The move comes after dozens of community members voiced their concerns amid nationwide calls to defund police agencies.
Over the next six months, sheriff’s deputies will still be staffed at some of the campuses while the board researches and finds ways to develop an alternative form of dispatch and police services.
Right now, emergency blue phones, 911 calls, camera monitoring and other security services are provided by deputies and support staff at Laney College, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda and Merritt College.
Lt. Gerald Verbeck explained to the board that relationships on campus and the quick responses among deputies and Peralta Police were critical to making the campuses and surrounding communities safe.
A yearlong extension of the contract would have cost the district as much as $3.8 million, but with the vote and new plan, it’s anticipated only half that amount will be spent.
Board members expressed the want for more community policing, cutting costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, and desire to better stand behind the students and staff they serve.
The district expects to officially end the contract by the end of the year.