The NYPD eliminated all armed police officers from schools over the last few years in New York City even though security concerns have been at the forefront of national conversations on school safety. Recently, they removed the last armed officer from one high school, and parents, even teachers are livid.
Sgt Raul Espinet was the last armed NYPD officer to be removed as his position was eliminated at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, Queens. He had been at the school for over 12 years. But parents and teachers were unhappy at his departure because they got to know him.
The New York Post reported,
The PTA is demanding that the NYPD and city Department of Education bring back an armed cop to Francis Lewis. It has collected more than 1,000 signatures in just two days, according to co-president Linda Lovett.
“It’s ridiculous,” Lovett said. “All over the country they are telling you ‘arm the teachers, get an officer in your school.’ New York City had a designated officer and they are actually cutting the program . . . they are making us less secure.
“You are talking about 5,000 people in a one-block radius, and you’re telling me you can’t designate one officer?”
Mayor De Blasio has a program of community policing units – they will “visit” schools as they “patrol the neighborhoods.” The New York schools have unarmed “safety agents.” In the past, New York schools had an armed officer on site…but they decided to do away with them some time ago.
Officers that just “stop by” the schools, and “unarmed” safety employees are not a substitue for armed security. Officers are blocks away if needed, and an unarmed employee is worthless against an armed shooter. What’s that “safety agent” going to do, throw an eraser at the gunman?
Francis Lewis High School in Queens is reportedly an overcrowed school, even though problems are rare. One online threat against the school does have everyone on alert. But a student said this to the New York Post:
“There are school shootings everywhere, and they took the one armed officer away from a school with 4,000 kids in it. Who is there to protect [us]?” sophomore Josephine Li
Well said, Josephine. Welcome to the world of liberal logic. Lawmakers have asked for an armed officer at every one of New York City’s 1,700 schools, but the Mayor has balked, saying it would be “too expensive.” Sgt Espinet was literally integrated into the school community – he attended meetings, worked one on one with the kids, and was credited with keeping crime low at the school.
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