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Fullerton Might Just Get Rid of Troubled Police Force

Fullerton Police Department (Photo by conner395 via Flickr)
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If you're a SoCal city with a troubled police force operating in tough economic times, how about just disbanding the whole thing? That's what's on the table for Fullterton, whose PD has been rife with controversy recently.

Now, before you indulge in visions of lawlessness and anarchy, should Fullerton undo its police department, they will opt to have civic safety handled by the Orange County Sheriff's Department via contract, according to City News Service.

Fullerton's PD, you'll perhaps recall, is where the officers accused of fatally beating transient Kelly Thomas did their duties. It was a force led at the time by a now-retired chief who went on a (convenient?) medical leave shortly after the Thomas beating.

Other awful stuff allegedly was perpetrated by Fullerton PD officers, like when a college student said they slammed his face in the gutter and stomped on his head. Bonus: One of the officers accused of beating Thomas to death was also accused of beating up a disabled man.

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The first steps in the process of getting rid of the Fullerton PD is to get a "preliminary analysis" of how using the OCSD would work in the city. That will be decided Tuesday evening during the Fullerton City Council Meeting. If that gets the go-ahead, a detailed proposal from the OCSD could follow, and Fullerton could end up with new law enforcement patrolling their mean streets...oh, and keeping residents safe. That's what police do, right?

Ultimately, though, the Fullerton City Council sees disbanding the PD as a way to save money. Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker said: "The intent here is to find out how much money could be saved and what level of service would be offered. We're spending a large amount per capita, and I suspect they can outline some savings," according to the L.A. Times. Right now it costs Fullerton $37 million to run their 144-officer police department.

Tonight's City Council meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in Fullerton.

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