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9 things you didn’t know about the school police who guard your children

Mike Szymanski | October 24, 2016

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schoolpolice-studentsat-3-08-13-pmYou may have seen the uniformed police officers on campus when dropping the kids off at school. Here are a few facts you probably didn’t know about the Los Angeles School Police Department:

• The LASPD is on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week to monitor more than 1,300 schools.

• They patrol an area of 710 square miles. If you added all the University of California campuses throughout the state and throw in USC and the entire island of Manhattan, that wouldn’t even equal half the area they must cover.

• It is the largest independent school police force in the country, with 410 sworn officers, 101 school safety officers and 34 civilian support staff.

(Read more: Here is LAUSD’s Emergency/Disaster Plan.)


Chief Zipperman dons a Dr. Seuss hat to support Read Across America Day. (LASPD)

• Every high school and middle school has one or two officers assigned full time to the school. Every elementary school has an officer responsible for the school, but some serve multiple schools.

• The sworn officers carry guns but have gotten rid of automatic weapons and military-grade artillery (as well as that tank).

• They have a canine unit with six dogs with various talents for sniffing out drugs, explosives and suspects.

• They have conducted undercover operations at schools, sort of like “21 Jump Street,” but don’t have any ongoing investigations at this time.

• They are involved in many youth programs, including trophy-winning wrestling and softball teams as well as leadership and explorer programs. They also help deliver food and supplies to needy families and read scary stories in the classrooms around Halloween.

• Chief Steven Zipperman is in a video with comedian George Lopez for a “Stop the Violence” campaign:

(Read an exclusive interview with Chief Steven Zipperman at LA School Report.)


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