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Menlo Park OKs Facebook's offer to fund police officer

Original post made on Mar 5, 2014

Calling it a "win win win," the Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously last night to accept Facebook's offer to fund a police officer position for at least three years.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:40 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by RW
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

Just like I have concerns about privatized prisons, I have concerns about private funds being paid for public services. Is this not a slippery slope towards a situation similar to Blackwater in the Middle East?

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Posted by Jonathan L
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm

RW - I don't think this is anything like a privatized prison, which is a contracted (private) facility paid for with public funds. In this case, think of it as directed, voluntary taxes. Private funds are flowing to the Menlo Park government, which in turn is using those funds to hire a public employee, who will be working for the police department, not for the organization who contributed the funds. There are many cases where public goods are paid for with private funds (e.g. developers who build/repave roads or build sidewalks and then turn them over to the government). It is very different than the government outsourcing functions that are deemed to be inherently governmental in nature.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Well, I guess there is such a thing as a free lunch.
What happens at the end of 3-years, if for whatever reason, Facebook no longer funds the police officer? Do you eliminate the position... or is it then supported by the General Fund? How hypocritical for the City to accept gifts on the one hand, and to make cuts at a whim when it suits them.

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Posted by Shawn
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm

If the system is working properly Facebooks taxes would cover all costs involved. Just like all the other businesses that pay taxes for the services they recieve!
Facebook is only trying to make everyone think they are better than others!

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Posted by concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 7, 2014 at 7:56 am

Who pays the pension costs accrued during this period?

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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

I believe they were included. Should FB not continue to fund the position, then attrition within will take care of the officer being used.

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