Newspaper confronts SNAP controversy with evidence

The University Police Department budget did not decrease last year, according to the budget supplied by the Office of Business and Financial Affairs.

Staff report

The Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol, or SNAP, is officially training and employing student workers again, officials said.

In a previous article published in The Flor-Ala, the reporter quoted UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula saying the program had been postponed until Oct. 1.

In a campus-wide email sent Oct. 1 from Pastula, the reporting done by our staff was called into question.

The email stated, “The SNAP program was not disbanded or postponed as suggested in the article and has been in operation since the beginning of classes.”

However, the reporter asked Pastula to confirm the program’s postponement during her interview with him saying, Reporter: “What I was told was that some students have called for escorts, and they said that they were told that the SNAP program itself would not be started until Oct. 1.”

Pastula responded: “Correct.”

The interview with Pastula and our reporter, which can be heard by clicking the link at the left of the screen, went as follows:

Reporter: “For my purposes, let me understand correctly what SNAP is. SNAP is students who are employed by the police department here to escort other students.”

Pastula: “Correct.”

Reporter: “The police department officers are still giving escorts in the meantime?”

Pastula: “Yes.”

Reporter: “Is there a reason why it’s not starting until Oct. 1?”

Pastula: “Because I don’t have any funding.”

Although Pastula, at the beginning of the interview, said the budget was reorganized, he later said his budget was less than it previously had been.

Reporter: “In general this whole police department didn’t get as much funding as they normally would?”

Pastula: “I think I’m close to $4,000 less than what I got the very first year I was here, which is five years ago, and we’re well below like $25,000 than we received last year.”

Later in the interview Pastula, again, incorrectly stated the budget was reduced.

Pastula: “My budget’s been increasingly going up since I’ve been here, and this year it just dropped down to below the first year that I was here.”

From the above responses to our reporter’s questions, we are confident our story published in the Sep. 25 issue is factual, except for the inaccuracies regarding the police department’s funding stated by Pastula.

Our staff requested copies of the police department budget to determine if a $25,000 decrease was present.

According to the university budget, the police department budget did not decrease over the last year.

The department’s allocation was $948,364.

The department also received a one-time additional payment of $25,000, according to the office of Business and Financial Affairs.

This information can be found in the budget on the left of the screen.