In a move that has some worried and others offering praise, approval has been given unanimously by the Menlo Park City Council in favor of Facebook‘s “gift” of $200,000 to fund what is being referred to as a “community safety police officer,” making this the first ever instance of a private company funding the establishment of a beat cop.
The rate of $200,000 will be paid annually for three years, after which point the ordeal will be reevaluated to see how it stands. Under this arrangement, a beat cop will be paid a salary of $108,000 plus benefits and will be stationed with local schools and businesses, gathering data on security issues among other things.
Facebook will be hands-off when it comes to the hiring and disciplining of the officer, and will not have its campus patrolled by the individual. The police officer will be stationed at the Belle Haven substation, which is located approx. a quarter mile from Facebook’s HQ in a lower-income part of town.
Critics have expressed concern about having a government service traditionally paid for by the public funded by a private organization, while others have said the move can be beneficial, and have acknowledged concerns about potential conflicts of interest and such that could arise under these arrangements. Menlo Park’s Mayor Ray Mueller has praised the move, saying, “This is a generous gift.”
SOURCE: NBC Bay Area