Police Expect “Normal” Conditions At Local Schools This Year
A new task force of 150 police officers was on hand within the New York City school system last Monday to help usher in the first day of school. And by the end of this year, their ranks will be increased to 200 to patrol at and around certain city schools, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heralded the opening day as a “safer” experience.
However, with the exception of general patrols, none of the new en-forcement officers has been specifically assigned to either Canarsie High School or South Shore High School, both which had been named on the city’s list of “problem” schools last year.
“We’re keeping a keen watch on those schools this year,” said Sergeant Ray Singletary, who is in charge of the 69th Precinct School Patrol Pro-gram. “We’re not assigning any new local officers at this time, however.” He said that, since it is early in the year and students are “barely getting an idea of what their schedules will be like,” he doesn’t expect many disruptions, if any.
“If we do have trouble,” he said, “the precinct officers are ready for it, along with any other enforcement personnel, such as the regular School Safety Patrol officers and the new Task Force patrols.”
Singletary said the truancy patrol, which is handled locally, will not kick in until at least next Monday because of a few “expected” schedule changes the students might have. “When the truancy van is in operation, it will be like last year and the year before. If a kid is out on the street after 9:30 a.m. and he either doesn’t have his school schedule with him or it shows that her or she is supposed to be in school at the time, the student will be taken to a ‘holding house’ on East 92 Street and the student’s parents will be called,” he said, adding, for emphasis, “and we will call them.”
Aiming at “Impact” schools — the 16 problem high schools that had been named last year for harboring dispruptive students — the Task Force patrols were set to “establish a climate of order and safety by intensifying enforcement against low-level crime and disorder,” Mayor Bloom-berg said.
Statistics have shown that there was a drop in incidents at most of the targeted schools last year, with felony crime falling by 48 percent and overall crime falling by ten percent.