“The fact is, there’s a conversation going on right now. I appreciate that there are some who think school safety should be taken out of NYPD. I don’t think they’re right,” said de Blasio. “I’m going to have that conversation with everyone. I’m open, I’m not dogmatic. But I do believe in my heart parents are very worried about the safety of their kids – profoundly concerned about the safety of their kids.”
Earlier this week, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea reportedly told The Associated Press he would be willing to scale back the department’s role in schools and traffic enforcement, which together cost about $500 million.
“My first impulse is that School Safety actually has consistently made our schools safer. They’ve taken a lot of weapons out of our schools, they’ve reduced crime and violence over the years,” de Blasio said Friday. “But School Safety has to evolve rapidly toward the directions this administration has put in place.”
The Department of Education’s Panel for Education Policy passed a resolution Thursday calling for control of school safety to be transferred from the NYPD to DOE.
“For two decades, students have been saying that police in their schools make them feel like criminals. Though there have been some reforms, still far too many Black and Brown young people are subjected to force and handcuffs by NYPD officers each year,” the New York City Liberties Union said in a statement. “We applaud the PEP and the teachers, parents, and young people who have fought for this for so long.”
The mayor and City Council are up against an end-of-the-month deadline to finalize the budget.