New date not yet announced but will be in January

December 21, 2020

By David Rowe, Copy Editor/Staff Writer

An online district-wide forum to “hear the concerns of the stakeholders” regarding Peralta’s new security plan was scheduled to take place on Monday, December 21, at noon. The event was abruptly postponed on Sunday evening, however, in an email from Mark Johnson, executive director of the Peralta Department of Marketing, Communications & Public Relations. 

According to Johnson, the district “heard feedback from many people who want to attend but have already started winter break.” A new date has not yet been established but will be in January, according to Johnson. 

With just ten days remaining before the new security/safety plan goes into effect, questions remain about the community-based security firms whose contracts were approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its December 14 meeting. At that meeting, Interim Chancellor Carla Walter promised the board that a “checklist” of mandatory items — such as licenses, insurance, and workman’s comp — would be distributed to the three new vendors (Community Ready Corps, Zulu Community Protection, and Marina Security Services). Only after the items on the checklist were confirmed would the contracts actually be signed, according to Walter.

When The Citizen reached out to Johnson regarding the status of the checklist items, we received a message indicating he will be out until January 4, 2021. Johnson referred inquiries to Aaron Harbour, district web content developer. In an email response, Harbour said he will look into our questions. No response was received by publication time. 

Kevin Jenkins, newly elected Area 2 trustee, expressed strong interest in holding stakeholder meetings with the new security vendors before the new program starts on January 1. The Citizen reached out to Jenkins regarding the postponement but he declined to comment. 

The final day of the existing security contract with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) is December 31. ACSO has provided security services for the Peralta campuses for the past twenty years. 

The Peralta security plan has attracted widespread interest in the past week with coverage on both KTVU-TV and in Phil Matier’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle

In the invitation to the December 21 forum, Acting Vice Chancellor of General Services Atheria Smith said the district “is looking at scheduling a follow-up forum for each campus concerning its safety program moving forward.” No timing was provided by Smith for those sessions, but they presumably will also now be in January.