SDCCD Board of Trustees announces recommendations from Police Task Force

The task force will continue its work into spring 2021


At the Board of Trustees meeting they discuss recommendations from the Police Task Force. Screenshot from YouTube

Kathryn Gray, Multimedia Journalist

The San Diego Community College District held its board meeting on April 8, focusing on the SDCCD Preliminary Report on College Policing, introduced by Chancellor Constance Carroll.  

Compiled by the Police Review Task Force, the report proposed six recommendations designed to inform how the district moves forward with policing policy.  

“The difficult task for all of us has been to separate the national issues and concerns from the local issues within our district,” Carroll said at the virtual meeting. “Given the heightened emotions involved, this task has not been an easy one.”

The first recommendation approved, to extend the task force through spring 2021, will allow additional time to gather a more robust set of data from key stakeholders through a District Wide Climate Survey.  

“I recognize that there are a number of folks in the district who felt like the board was not getting to this quickly enough,” Trustee Mary Graham said. 

Graham emphasized the project delay has not been for a lack of care and dedication by the task force but rather due to competing time-sensitive priorities such as the recently concluded search for new District Chancellor Carlos Turner Cortez

The second approved recommendation, to create the District Wide Climate Survey, is intended to help ensure key stakeholders district-wide have input in order to arrive at observations and conclusions about policing within the district that are appropriate for each campus.

‘‘I want to reiterate the fact that this is a district-wide issue that needs to be grounded in our government structures,” Carroll said. “It needs to be informed by data, with everything transparent and on the table.’’ 

The third approved recommendation strives to reduce police presence on district campuses by creating a Crisis Counseling Response Team made up of first responders.

The fourth recommendation is the creation of an advisory committee with the goal to help ensure that police best practices are being adhered to at all district facilities.

Recommendation five proposes the development of a comprehensive training program for all faculty, classified professionals, administration, and students regarding the use of law enforcement within education, crisis resolution, and de-escalation methods. 

The training is intended to clarify roles and explain current district processes such as the appropriate intervention and handling of incidents and to provide updates on state laws, district policies, and the role of police on district campuses. 

The sixth recommendation, to continue the police hiring freeze until the task force work is completed, was amended to approve immediate staffing of 50% of the current open positions.

The board also unanimously passed a resolution to denounce racism and xenophobia, especially against the Asian community. 

‘‘The racism that our Asian and APPI colleagues, and students, and community college members have experienced have gone unrecognized because they are often considered model minorities,’’ Graham said.

Vice Chancellor Susan Topham presented the 2021 Open Educational Resources and Reducing Textbook Costs for Students Report, which emphasized the district’s commitment to offering classes with zero textbook costs.

The report shows 31% of San Diego City College professors used open educational resources or zero-cost textbooks in fall 2020 and that class popularity increased when advertised as zero cost.

The preliminary district budget was presented by Bonnie Ann Dowd, executive vice chancellor, Business and Technology Services.

To hear about all topics discussed, you can see the meeting on YouTube and the detailed meeting agenda can be viewed here.