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Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop 235

theodp writes "Valleywag reports that Facebook just bought itself a police officer and questions what kind of mechanism will be in place to make sure the officer — whose position Facebook has agreed to fund to the tune of $200K-a-year for 3 years — doesn't provide preferential protection for the social network giant and its employees. It's probably a fair question, considering that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the City of New Orleans enter into a federal consent decree designed to address the 'divided loyalties' of the city's moonlighting police officers. But for now, everything's hunky-dory in Menlo Park, where Police Chief Robert Jonsen called the deal a 'benchmark in private-public partnerships.' No doubt it is, as was last week's Google-City of San Francisco deal to fund free bus passes for low- and middle-income kids. But is giving earmarked funding to facilitate self-serving city expenditures a good or bad development?"
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Facebook To Pay City $200K-a-Year For a Neighborhood Cop

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  • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Informative)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @07:28PM (#46431889)

    That's $96/hr, which seems within the ballpark for full-time contracted 10-99 labor with the requirement of special certifications and skills.

  • Re:Pretty ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by digitalvengeance ( 722523 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @08:05PM (#46432115)

    Valid point, but there are key legal and practical differences. I am not a lawyer and I may not be read up on all the recent cases, but I am a police officer and I have looked into this area a bit a while back.

    For example, police officers acting in their official capacity (regardless of who pays) are generally entitled to qualified immunity. While private guards may qualify for qualified immunity in some circumstances, the law there is much less clear and their use in actual roles requiring action (rather than just observing and reporting) can be a major source of liability.

    That is, Facebook would generally be liable for actions taken by private security working directly for them. They set the policy the security guard follows and are liable for the consequences of that policy. Police officers, on the other hand, work for the city (or county or state or federal) and their actions are generally governed by policy and law, which may act as a buffer between Facebook's deep pockets and potential lawsuits.

    Additionally, even in states where a citizen's arrest is perfectly legal, there are logistical concerns. In the states I am familiar with, resisting an officer who is effecting a legal arrest is illegal and in some states even resisting an illegal arrest is illegal unless certain other elements (i.e. risk of physical harm) are involved. When a citizen is attempting to effect the arrest, it is much easier for the person being arrested to simply claim they were being assaulted and fought back and there is no simple way to determine who is right.

    Having a trained, experienced, uniformed police officer effecting the arrest undercuts this argument because it isn't (generally) reasonable for an individual to claim they were being randomly assaulted by an on-duty officer.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @08:14PM (#46432181)

    They're black, you mean. Scary black people.

    You wish: []

    "The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Menlo Park had a population of 32,026." ... "The racial makeup of Menlo Park was 22,494 (70.2%) White, 1,551 (4.8%) African American, 156 (0.5%) Native American, 3,157 (9.9%) Asian, 454 (1.4%) Pacific Islander, 2,776 (8.7%) from other races, and 1,438 (4.5%) from two or more races."

    You don't have to be a particular race to live in a slum, you just have to have bad neighbors who make things miserable for everyone else.

  • by SpankiMonki ( 3493987 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @10:00PM (#46432639)

    Take texas or South Dakota or either of the Carolinas... how much of this police buying are we seeing there? Not much.

    My neighborhood in Dallas pays $70K/year for what the DPD calls "ENP" (Enhanced Neighborhood Patrol). For the $70K we get two armed, uniformed police officers driving a marked DPD patrol car for 1000 hours per year (above their regular patrols) in a neighborhood of about 1 square mile. This sort of thing goes on in neighborhoods all over town, and the DPD has a similar program for businesses that is quite popular as well. My brother who lives in Houston also has paid patrols by the HPD in his neighborhood (don't know the costs).

    Anyway, "police buying" is alive and well down here in the Lone Star State. Come on down & check it out. (if you do make it down here, don't let anybody know you failed to capitalize the "T" in "Texas" might get shot)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @10:13PM (#46432705)

    You are confused because you don't understand how school district funding works. The schools are funded from the property tax collected WITHIN the school district, meaning that a district like Orange county is going to be funded a whole bunch better than a district in Compton. In other countries, schools are funded out of the national budget, and you don't have the disparity in education that the US has.

    You might think that you might have school districts with both rich and poor neighborhoods, but generally what happens is that the level of school district funding either forces the property value in the poor neighborhoods up, because the district is well funded, or forces the property value down in the rich neighborhoods because the schools are bad, or the district zoning is redrawn to exclude the poor kids from the rich kids district.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354