Facebook will be the first private company in the U.S. to have a full-time beat cop on their payroll, according to NBC Bay Area.
Yesterday the Menlo Park City Council approved the company’s offer to pay $US200,000 a year for three years to employ a “community safety police officer.”
“It’s safe to say this is unprecedented,” Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, said to NBC Bay Area. “But this may be the model of the future.”
The officer won’t be patrolling the Facebook campus — the company already employs a private security force for that purpose. Instead they will be responsible for issues with schools, businesses, and general safety in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighbourhood, where Facebook is located. According to the New York Times, Belle Haven is a neighbourhood “that has been shut out of Silicon Valley’s historic accumulation of wealth.”
“They’d be a regular beat cop with a special assignment,” Menlo Park Police Commander Dave Bertini told NBC Bay Area. He added that Facebook will have no say over the hiring or disciplining of the officer.
While some have expressed concerns about the presence of a corporate “Facebook Cop,” others see the funding as a positive move for the community.
“I’m not sure what’s motivating Facebook,” Bueermann said. “But Mark Zuckerberg has been part of this philanthropic movement. I applaud them for their social consciousness.”
According to the Menlo Park City Council’s Twitter account, the vote was unanimous.