L.A. community colleges to seek new security contractor after failing to reach agreement with LASD

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Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stand at attention during a graduation ceremony in East Los Angeles on Oct. 27, 2017. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stand at attention during a graduation ceremony in East Los Angeles on Oct. 27, 2017. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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The Los Angeles Community College District said Friday that it plans to find a new security services provider for its campuses after failing to agree with the county Sheriff’s Department on new terms for their contract.

The current contract expires Dec. 31, leaving the district to seek temporary services while a long-term alternative is sorted out, LACCD said in a news release.

Details of the negotiations were not provided, but in a separate news release, the Sheriff’s Department said the district “wants to explore an unarmed service model.”

The district says it was spending more than $25 million a year for 24-hour security at its nine colleges, satellite campuses and administrative facilities. About 150 deputies were assigned to the sheriff’s Community College Bureau, which was established in 2001.

In a statement, Sheriff Alex Villanueva thanked the district for its partnership and said his department “will always be available to serve the residents of the county.”

The Sheriff’s Department delivered a formal letter ending the agreement after negotiations reached an impasse, according to the district.

In his statement, LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said discussions fell through when the parties were “unable to reach mutually agreeable terms for either a short (six-month) or longer-term contract, in light of the current COVID-19 environment.”

Rodriguez made no mention of plans for unarmed service, and said the district would welcome a new sheriff’s proposal “when the time came.”

“Over the next few months, we will engage in an assessment of campus safety at LACCD and use that assessment as the basis for a Request for Proposals (RFP) for campus safety services,” he wrote.

The Sheriff’s Department plans to fulfill its obligations through the end of the contract.

All 150 personnel assigned to the Community College Bureau will be “reassigned to fill vacancies” at the Sheriff’s Department, the agency said.

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