MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA—On Saturday, in the presence of area dignitaries, the local police department opened up a new substation in the neighborhood of Belle Haven, just a short block down the street from Facebook’s massive corporate headquarters. This is no ordinary police station. Its renovation, rent, and one officer’s salary have been substantially paid for by Facebook, to the tune of $600,000 over the next two years.
This wealthy Silicon Valley city of 32,000 people boasts a median household income of over $113,000. Kepler’s, a well-known independent bookstore, is one of the retail anchors of its downtown corridor. So far this year, the median home sales price in Menlo Park has been $1.5 million.
A major corporation funding a police department—particularly in a well-to-do city like Menlo Park—seems extremely rare in the United States, if unprecedented.
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