A City Council member in Houston has a new idea for funding after-school programs: take money from police-training academies and put fewer officers on the street.
Councilman C.O. Bradford's rationale? The programs that keep children safe from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and help prevent crime should receive additional funding, rather than supporting the law-enforcement officers who have to maintain order after crime occurs, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle.
He proposes having 10 fewer cadets in each of two incoming academies, a step that could save $1.6 million. "No [one] would miss" these officers on the streets, he said, and instead, that money could be put into providing after-school options for 2,000 more Houston students.
Oddly enough, Bradford is Houston's former police chief, but is now, in addition to serving on the local City Council, a chairman in a collaborative that includes the local education department and other organizations that aim to expand after-school offerings in the Houston area.
The police department is not chomping at the bit over the proposal, according to the story. It says staffing levels need to be maintained and references the department's own involvement in mentoring students in out-of-school programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs.