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Reject Facebook Offer to Fund Police Department

From: domainremoved <Steve>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:02:23 -0700

I understand that Facebook is generously dangling $16M in front of the City
Council to help fund a 4th police beat in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

There is no doubt that additional policing is merited by the increased
development of housing and businesses in that area. I fully support that.

However, I strongly object to this being funded by private enterprise.
Facebook may be considered a good neighbor and generous benefactor. Perhaps
they are. But this does not absolve the City from its obligation to provide
basic safety services using its own internal resources. The planning for
additional police, and the long time it takes for additional officers to be
trained and on-boarded should have begun over a year ago. The City was
negligent in not planning for this in its funding and hiring.

Aside from the responsibility of the City to fully fund emergency and
safety services, the precedent set by this arrangement is simply terrible.

   - What if the offer of funding came from a different company or
   foundation? what if it was a politically active organization like the
   National Rifle Association, the Republic or Democratic party? Or a business
   that made munitions or ran coal companies? Perhaps a foreign government
   (Russia anyone?).
   - Should Facebook (or any other enterprise) become involved in a a
   criminal investigation by the MPPD, how could the public be assured of an
   independent and unbiased investigation? There will always be questions
   about objectivity whenever a powerful institution with deep pockets is
   investigated, let alone one who "owns" a portion the police department.
   Each and every crime that may require investigation at Facebook or
   concerning a Facebook employee would be irreparably tainted.
   - While the Supreme Court has decided that money is speech, many
   Americans disagree and believe that monied interests have corrupted
   American politics. Accepting the Facebook offer may lead citizens to
   conclude that the City Council has been "bought," and that future
   situations involving Facebook and the City will be tilt in the direction
   favoring the company over its citizenry.

Reject the money. It may be hard, but its the right thing to do.


*Steve Taffee*
m:415-613-6684 | e:steve.taffee_at_(domainremoved)
Park, CA 94025-2676
Don't print this, Ok?
Received on Tue Apr 18 2017 - 11:08:22 PDT

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