This September, the NYPD is rolling out an experiment in the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan which has the potential to put the safety of our kids at risk. They are eliminating the Schools Units and placing these officers on regular patrols, leaving just one youth officer at the precinct.
What is the Schools Unit?
Each police precinct has a unit of officers with expertise in dealing with children and child-related issues. These are not the School Safety Agents within your school, but actual Police Officers that are the first responders to emergencies in and around our schools. Additionally, they are the face of the NYPD to kids (and parents!) – they speak with them about safety issues, join school events and keep them safe over the summer at our parks and pools.
Why do we need a Schools Unit?
To get the best answer to this, talk with your principal and School Safety Agents; they will tell you how this directly impacts your school.
Reasons we need them include:
- They have the desire and expertise to deal with children and their parents
- They are the first responders to emergencies in and around any school in their precinct – public, private, charter, parochial – in the 19th precinct alone there are over 90 schools, and in the 20th there are more than 50
- They are the primary community faces of the NYPD to our children
- Frequently, the children that require help have recurring issues, and the Schools Officers often know these children and can diffuse the situation before it escalates
- These officers have personal relationships with principals and school safety agents, and are often directly available via cell phone and text
- They spend time working with children, parents and school staff to effectively resolve a situation – where a regular patrol team would be under pressure to return to the streets to tend to what is often a backlog of 911 calls
- As police officers in a specialized unit, they have been trained to work with children – where regular patrol teams lack this training
Learn More About Schools Units
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