City School Police Officer Speaks Out
Updated: Thursday, November 29 2012, 12:00 PM EST
A former city school cop sat down with FOX45 and is painting even a bleaker picture of what’s going on inside city schools.
A FOX investigation uncovered dozens of crimes occurring in city schools but not reported to city police and assertions from school officials that the policy was all above board.
A recently fire city school police officer, Joseph Baibeault, has come forward to paint an even bleaker picture on how, and why, school crimes are being concealed.
He says, “You’re giving the illusion that crimes down, and that’s the problem.” A practice of using what’s known as “in house referrals” to record crimes, a policy he says is designed to make city schools seem safer.
“There’s a ton of pressure, every general meeting we’ve had, guys you need to start referring these incidents… we start doing in-house.” FOX45 uncovered dozens of assaults and confiscated weapons which were only reported in-house.
Often serious crimes were kept off the official books, that a key City Councilman found troubling. Councilman Stokes said, “I can’t figure out exactly why so many agencies don’t want to be transparent.”
But Baurbart says he witnessed first-hand the real consequences of the policy. Principals confiscating dangerous weapons and shoving them in a drawer, and school cops kept out of the loop even when serious crimes occur.
“We don’t want principals doing weapons scans and check and searching students without officers there for the simple fact, if the officer isn’t there the officer didn’t witness it. They’re going to get charged, they’re not going to be taken down to DJS. Basically, that in-house referral will be done,” said Baurbart.
When we first asked school officials about using in-house referrals, they told us it was about keeping kids out of jails for minor crimes.
But Baurbat says it’s more about stats, a slight of hand by school officials that sends that wrong message, “I believe the kids who truly need help aren’t going to get it, and I think you’re sending the message to them. If I bring a knife to school today, and it gets taken from and nothing happens than I can bring a knife to school tomorrow and nothing happens.”
As to why Baurbault is speaking out now, he says his career in law enforcement is over, it was all out of concern for his fellow officers, and the students he once served.