NYPD to keep control over school safety agents

On Wednesday night, the United Federation of Teachers delegate passed a resolution rejecting transfer of school security responsibility from NYPD to Department of Education.

The measure prevailed with 75 percent of the tally at the labor group’s Delegate Assembly meeting.

While members voted to maintain the NYPD’s purview, the resolution also called for changes to school safety agent training and operations.

In recent years, the debate about school security has intensified with politicians and activists calling for the removal of agents to favor guidance counselors and social workers.

Unarmed officers include 90 percent African American, Hispanic, and 70% women.

Many argue that the NYPD’s association with them creates an atmosphere of criminalization in city schools. School safety needs to be improved overall.

A line-up of female NYPD officers
There are many Hispanics and African Americans who work as school safety officers, but they tend to be unarmed.
Corbis via Getty Images

Other people counter that they maintain order at sometimes chaotic city schools. They often come from the same neighborhood as the agents.

Mayor Bill de Blasio supports a plan for the transfer of the school safety budget to the DOE from the NYPD by next year.

But he recently told NY1 that the City Council initiated that effort and he thought the agents were “doing well” under NYPD supervision.

A protester holds a placard that says Demand safe schools during the demonstration.
Protester at a August 2020 rally in support of schools that are police-free. Opponents say the NYPD’s presence in the hallways creates a criminalized atmosphere.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

De Blasio indicated that Eric Adams, his successor in the school safety debate, would ultimately take final authority.

Adams suggested previously that he was against DOE control over school security.

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