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School Police Chief Resigns After LAUSD Board Cuts Budget

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Todd Chamberlain resigned as chief of the L.A. School Police in the aftermath of an LAUSD board vote to cut his department's budget by 35%. (Los Angeles Unified School District)

The chief of the L.A. Unified School District's police force quit today, less than 24 hours after the district's board cut $25 million from his department's budget.

The resignation of Chief Todd Chamberlain was confirmed by William Etue, vice president of the Los Angeles School Police Association, the union representing rank-and-file school police officers. He said Chamberlain revealed his decision in an afternoon Zoom call to the entire department.

"Our district and our department lost a great leader [with] this resignation," Etue said. "Chief Chamberlain has proven [to be] an incredible leader throughout his law enforcement career."

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On Tuesday night, after hours of debate and discussion, the LAUSD board voted 4-3 to reduce the LA School Police budget by 35%, and to divert those funds to hire more social workers, counselors and campus safety aids at schools with more Black students.

Chamberlain said during the meeting that the $25 million reduction means LAUSD will need to lay off 65 officers, close 39 vacant officer positions and eliminate the school police force's entire overtime budget.

"He did not say that it was related that," Etue said of Chamberlain's Zoom call, "but one can at least assume that that was the result of the board action."

Chamberlain was named L.A. School Police chief in November 2019. He was a 33-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department when he retired at the rank of commander and was working as a lecturer in criminal justice at Cal State Los Angeles, according to an LAUSD press release announcing his hire.

When asked who will now lead the department, an L.A. Unified spokesperson said in an email that "more information on the department leadership transition will be forthcoming."

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