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'Like': Facebook Gets Thumbs Up For Gift of Menlo Park School Resource Officer

Facebook pledged a gift of nearly $200,000 per year to fully fund direct costs for a full-time police officer position for three years with an option to extend for another two years, according to a city staff report.

By Bay City News: 

A generous crime-fighting gesture by Facebook is receiving several "likes" in the Menlo Park community.

 On Tuesday night, the Menlo Park City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the social media engine to fund a full-time Menlo Park police officer at the city's upcoming substation in Belle Haven. Belle Haven is near Facebook's West Campus expansion, which is currently under construction.

 The move comes on the heels of a discussion last October in which several educators in the school district were discussing the need for School Resource Officers, or SROs, Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller said Wednesday.

 He said when Facebook heard of the need for SROs to help with school safety, security, truancy and crime reduction, the company jumped in and offered to help, recognizing that having a dedicated officer to work on these community concerns would benefit schools and nearby businesses as well.

 "This is inline with (Facebook's) corporate culture of always helping our youth -- they've given laptops, mentored youth, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taught classes in our school system, they have been an incredible community partner to Menlo Park," Mueller said.

 Facebook pledged a gift of nearly $200,000 per year to fully fund direct costs for a full-time police officer position for three years with an option to extend for another two years, according to a city staff report.

 One of the critical conditions is that the community safety officer be a sworn Menlo Park police officer.

 Mueller said the agreement is a win-win for residents and for Facebook.

 "I feel so blessed for the residents and for our youth who are going to be affected so positively by this," he said.

 Mueller said that by being able to hire an SRO during a time where the city's budget doesn't allow it is huge.

 "This allows us to go back to an age where we didn't have budget issues but we had to time for our officers to build personal relationships with at-risk youth and have a station and officers where they're building trust," he said. "This allows us to build relationships that will pay dividends in the future."


Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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