According to a memo released by Jeff Maddrey, NYPD Chief of Department, the NYPD will be increasing its presence at New York City schools. The news comes following several violent incidents occurring outside or near various schools across New York City.
In the memo, which was released Thursday, February 9th, Maddrey ordered all precinct commanders to increase their Youth Coordination Officer Units to six officers. These six youth coordinator officers (YCOs) will be in schools. The Youth Coordinator Officers initiative, originally formed in 2020 under Former New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, called for 350 youth coordinator officers when it was launched. With the memo released by Maddrey, there will now be 462 YCOs across all precincts in NYC.
There will be a focus on problematic schools, with NYPD officers being present and on-duty during dismissal time.
The NYC School Safety Coalition has been pushing for action, with many saying this is a good step. Maud Maron, a concerned parent and founding member of the NYC School Safety Coalition, said, “The School Safety Coalition has been asking for the uniformed task force, and has been asking for neighborhood and youth coordination officers to be stationed outside of some of our schools that need them the most for over a year now.”
This past week, New York City schools were riddled with violence right outside of the schools. On Monday, a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old boy were shot in the stomach and head respectively near the Grand Street Campus High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On Wednesday, a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were both shot near Williamsburg Charter High school. A school guard intervened in a fight in the streets and was struck in the neck by a bullet.
On Wednesday, Schools Chancellor David Banks in Albany said that school safety “is the issue that keeps me up at night.”
On the initiative, the NYPD released a statement saying, “Student safety is a priority for the NYPD and we regularly monitor and evaluate crime conditions in and around schools. In response to the recent incidents, the NYPD is increasing the number of Youth Coordination Officers (YCOs) citywide.” The statement continued, “Precinct administrative personnel will be utilized to patrol dismissals at designated schools and we will ensure that Transit District School Safety Teams are strategically deployed.”
Mona Davids, the founder of the NYC School Safety Coalition, commented on the memo saying, “We really need Mayor Adams to listen to the mothers and families and not to the loud minority who don’t speak for us. Mothers are sick and tired of burying their children or getting the call their children are in the hospital. Enough is enough. We want Mayor Adams to tell those woke politicians and special interest groups to come and say it to our face, to come to our communities with their defund the NYPD nonsense. We need more police officers outside our schools providing safe corridors and more School Safety Agents in our schools. We need safe corridors at bus stops and train stations near schools.”