Facebook Just Bought Itself a Police Officer

The biggest problem with Facebook is all the shootouts, unsolved mysteries, and occult strangling attacks at its massive Menlo Park campus. Worry no more: the San Jose Mercury News reports Facebook will privately fund a police officer all on its own.

The new PR-tastic officer of the peace will "work out of a substation near the social media giant's new campus," after Zuck and Menlo Park reached an agreement:

Facebook would fund the officer for three years, with an option to extend the agreement for another two. Tuesday's vote accepted the company's offer of $200,000 a year but added a stipulation that there may be a need to ask for more should costs rise due to pension issues.

Will there be any mechanism in place to make sure the officer doesn't provide preferential protection for Facebook and its employees? Who knows: "While a Facebook representative was at the meeting, council and staff did not ask her any questions. There were no public speakers on the item, which garnered praise and thanks from each of the council members."

The substation happens to be only a "few hundred yards" away from Facebook's planned new campus. The lower income neighborhood of Belle Haven will benefit from the officer's patrols, but this is just another instance of Silicon Valley slapping a private band-aid on a public dearth, the same rationale that favors private buses over a properly funded public transit system. It's the same old false dilemma: Well, we can either have no cops in rough neighborhoods, or a Facebook cop! Who need to fix anything when a deep-pocketed tech firm is willing to find a self-interested quasi-solution?

Photo: Getty