Menlo Park police choose officer for Facebook-funded position

What was described as a "win win win" is now a "win win win win" situation, at least for one Menlo Park police officer.

The department announced that Officer Mary Ferguson-Dixon will fill a newly created position underwritten by Facebook.

The council voted unanimously on March 4 to approve the agreement with the social networking company, which will pay the city up to $220,000 a year to fund the position for at least three years, with an option to renew for two years.

The goal is to have the officer focus on schools, with an emphasis on truancy and gang deterrence. She also will create safety plans for education facilities and local businesses.

An eight-year employee with the city's police department, Officer Ferguson-Dixon already has a head start on the position. She created a truancy-abatement program four years ago, according to the police department, that included visiting homes to shed light on why children were skipping school.

Part of her new responsibilities will include working with Sgt. Kevin Paugh, one of the department's critical incident instructors, to create safety plans and deliver safety presentations to the community.

She earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and sociology, and has also attended multiple training programs on juvenile diversion and truancy, the department said in a press release.

Cmdr. Dave Bertini told the Almanac that the department has a new officer ready to be hired to fill Officer Ferguson-Dixon's previous position. He expects the recruit to start at the end of March.

Sandy Brundage


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Sure glad they didn't give this job to the Naked Cop. Is he still drawing a paycheck from the city?

Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Yes, Who else would hire him. The new position requires clothes, and flashing or being a lily waiver is a crime!!

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