Facebook To Fund Menlo Park Police Officer At New Substation In Belle Haven

By David Cohen 

PoliceOfficerAvatar650The Facebook police? Not quite, but the social network reached an agreement with the Menlo Park (Calif.) City Council to pay $200,000 per year for at least three years to station a full-time Menlo Park police officer at the city’s upcoming substation in Belle Haven, which is located just a few-hundred yards from the site of the company’s West Campus expansion, currently under construction.

The Palo Alto Daily News reported that the agreement could possibly be extended for another two years, adding that Facebook has already committed to giving the city of Menlo Park more than $215,000 toward the rent for the new substation, which is scheduled to open in April in a storefront space at Hamilton Avenue and Willow Road.

According to the Daily News, Menlo Park Police Commander Dave Bertini said the officer would focus on safety and truancy at local schools and security at local business, and the officer “will be in uniform and in a marked patrol car,” but he or she will not be assigned to calls or “be issuing citations and doing traffic enforcement. It’s truancy patrol or something like a security patrol at Facebook.”

Bertini also told the Daily News the officer will work with schools and businesses on safety plans and emergency drills to prepare for events such as fires and earthquakes, adding:

Let’s say Facebook has a need of assistance, or some other large company, and says, “We want to have drills for an active shooter or a bomb threat. We need you to help us put that together.” They’d have an actual person.

Bertini told the newspaper that if the Menlo Park City Council approves the addition of the officer Tuesday, the position will be filled “as quickly as possible,” likely with an existing officer, after which a new officer would be hired by the department.

Readers: Why do you think Facebook is willing to fund the addition of this new police officer?

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