Greenfield Wants NYPD To Patrol Yeshivas, Other Private Schools

Councilman David Greenfield (Source: Facebook)
Councilman David Greenfield (Source: Facebook)

Looking to address the security differences between public and private schools, Councilman David Greenfield has introduced a bill requiring the presence of an NYPD School Safety officer in every school, be they public or private.

Currently, at least one School Safety officer is posted to every public school, but that policy could end at the discretion of the NYPD. Greenfield wants to codify the program so that the NYPD cannot decide to end it. He also wants to extend the service to private schools, including yeshivas.

Greenfield’s office, via press release, explained how the program works:

The School Safety Division is part of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Unit and employs over 5,000 School Safety Agents and 169 uniformed police officers that are assigned to schools based on need as determined by the NYPD. It was part of the Department of Education until 1998, when its responsibilities were transferred to the NYPD. Agents have arrest powers and fulfill duties including monitoring school entrances, exits and hallways, operating ID scanners, cameras and metal detectors and coordinating with precinct officers when situations arise. Their presence helps provide a secure classroom to all students and teachers and ensure a safe and optimal learning environment free of aggression and dangers.

Greenfield invoked the tragedy in Newtown in his comments on the measure.

“Every child deserves to attend school in a secure environment, regardless of whether they attend a public or private school. This legislation will help ensure that every school in the five boroughs is safe by providing a School Safety Agent at the school’s request. Quite frankly, we are inviting tragedy by not having security officers in some schools. After Newtown we shouldn’t be taking any chances with our children’s lives,” said Greenfield.