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SDPD investigating financial discrepancies in unit overseeing school safety program – NBC 7 San Diego | #schoolsaftey

The San Diego Police Department is investigating some of their own after a recent financial audit raised eyebrows.

A spokesperson with the department confirms an internal investigation into accounting discrepancies within the Juvenile Administration Unit is ongoing. The unit is in charge of nearly 80 school safety programs across the county. Officers teach students to be cross guards and host events like Shop With a Cop.

However, parents and staff who spoke highly about the programs that have positively impacted fifth- and sixth-graders also said they were shocked and disappointed to learn about the investigation.

Sixth-grader Leanni Bader, a former student at Morning Creek Elementary School in Sabre Springs, loved her time with the school safety patrol (SSP). Partnering with San Diego’s finest, she said, inspired her.

 “We watched out for, like, those everyday cars that try to go past stop signs,” Leanni said. “We’d also keep an eye on people who won’t, like, listen and just cross when they want to.”

Alex Vari said it was invaluable to his kids.

“She thrived,” Vari said. “It was an amazing and positive experience for her.”

News of an internal audit into money and accounting discrepancies is worrisome.

“It would be devastating for the kids to lose the opportunity to do this,” Vari said.

A department spokesperson did not provide details about the internal audit, who was involved or how much money was in question. The unit’s funding largely comes from donations and fundraisers, according to staff.

Leanni and her mom are instead focusing on the positive impact it’s made and the confidence she gained.

“Like: Talk to others, help people, and I really just wanted to help make the world a better place,” Leanni said.

None of the schools featuring an SSP program have been indicated or connected to the SDPD investigation.

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