Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association of San Bernardino County Statement
SAN BERNARDINO – As news of another school shooting breaks the hearts of our collective nation, we are reminded of the importance of having trained law enforcement personnel on our school campuses.
We stand with our colleagues at the Los Angeles School Police Department in their efforts to keep the children of the Los Angeles School District safe and condemn the actions of misguided activists and political opportunists who seek to remove law enforcement from school campuses.
Violence on our school campuses are at epidemic levels and studies show violence is less likely to occur in the presence of a uniformed officer. Furthermore, law enforcement officers, such as the dedicated members of the Los Angeles School Police, devote time and effort to prevent school violence. There is no better course of prevention than active engagement with the student population; and active engagement cannot be accomplished if law enforcement officers are removed from campuses district-wide.
We cannot fathom a movement that would seek to remove peace officers from school campuses, therefore removing an essential level of security from the student population, and from parents who entrust their children to the Los Angeles School District. We resent protests by the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter that seek to remove law enforcement from schools.
“Rather than protest a viable and necessary resource, activists should devote efforts into working together with law enforcement to find common goals to combat school violence,” said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. and SEBA President Grant Ward. “Community leaders should be focused on collaboration, not accusation; and partnership-building, not finger-pointing.”
Our hearts are heavy for the victims, their families and loved ones. We send our prayers and condolences. We also commend the first responders. In the event of a tragedy, as we saw unfold today in Broward County, Florida, law enforcement officers are the first – and most qualified to respond. They do so without hesitation and with tactics that have been engrained in their training to the most peaceful of resolutions.
Why would anyone seek to take away a level of defense to the most innocent members of our society?
We are grateful to the community stakeholders in San Bernardino County who recognize the value of having school resource officers and sworn law enforcement personnel on campuses throughout our region. We only hope those in Los Angeles Unified School District can look to the educational leaders of San Bernardino County for an example of positive, collaborative partnerships designed to keep children safe.
*The Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefits Association (SEBA) represents 3,700 law enforcement professionals in San Bernardino County, including sheriff’s deputies, detectives, sergeants, lieutenants; DA investigators and supervisors; Coroner’s investigators; Probation supervisors and probation corrections officers; Welfare Fraud investigators and specialized fire personnel.