By Jeremy Arias
The Los Angeles Community College District has terminated its contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department after 19 years following the COVID-19 closures.
The cancellation of the contract comes after East Los Angeles College Academic Senate President Jeffrey Hernandez proposed a 10 % reduction in the contract with LASD.
Because of the impact LACCD suffered from COVID-19, which includes a decrease in enrollment, school budget and all nine campus closures, the District Budget Committee approved the cancellation of the current contract with the LASD. The contract with the department was valued at $25 million before being canceled.
The contract was on the agenda of the ELAC budget committee in October. “We had asked that there be a presentation on what’s taking place with the Sheriff’s contract,” Hernandez said. “But it was just a verbal reporting out by the chancellor which made it seem that we’re renegotiating the Sheriff’s contract and we have some things that we’re going to be doing differently, but it wasn’t clear what those things were and what we’re going to be seeking.”
Hernandez said that his intentions for the proposal were to be consistent with community voices demanding change to our justice system and aligns with Measure J on the Los Angeles County Ballot, which allocates funds to alternatives to incarceration. Since then, both Measure J have passed as well as the LACCD’s decision to cancel the contract with LASD.
LACCD announced in a news release on Nov. 13 that it is now seeking a new contract for campus safety on all nine of its campuses after failing to reach a new agreement with LASD.
Using Hernandez’s earlier proposal as a guide, LACCD will aim to reduce its expenditures on security by at least 10%, but there is uncertainty about what the replacement will look like.
LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez said the district will engage in an assessment of campus security and use that assessment as a basis for proposing campus security.
The Sheriff’s Department will continue its services on LACCD campuses until the end of its current LASD contract. The contract ends on Dec. 31.
LACCD’s news release said no LACCD jobs would be affected and that the sheriffs and deputies currently serving the nine colleges will be reassigned to fill vacancies in the department.
No new details regarding any type of services to be provided will be available until the LACCD Board of Trustees meets to vote on a new contract.