Upcoming class of school safety agents put on hold by city, according to lawmakers
Hundreds of new school safety agents will no longer be coming to city schools any time soon, after state and city lawmakers say the city canceled the upcoming class of 250 agents.
School staff members say they’re in desperate need of more safety agents, and local lawmakers say that the city made the decision last month to put the new class on hold.
According to a March report from the Independent Budget Office, there were almost 4,000 school safety agents as of February – 24% fewer than the same date in 2020.
“We need our school safety agents to be of the appropriate levels,” said New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. “Which means there should be 1,200 more right now.”
A representative from the NYPD provided a statement on the matter stating the following:
"Each day, School Safety Agents work diligently to enhance the quality of New York City public education by maintaining a safe and secure environment in the city's public schools. While the NYPD looks forward to welcoming the next School Safety Agent class, we are fully confident that our current agents will continue to provide security and ensure the safety of students, faculty and visitors in New York City Public School buildings."
Gregory Floyd, president of the union Teamsters Local 237 who represent the school safety agents, provided the following statement to News 12:
“Read the headline! This is certainly not the time to diminish safety in our schools. With the number of Agents severely reduced since 2019, and the number of violent incidents in or around our schools greatly increased, we are going to be faced with a crisis that could have been avoided. An adequate number of School Safety Agents will never be achieved by slashing SSA training classes--and without taking into account the loss of Agents due to attrition. We need an explanation as to why this was done, but more importantly, a plan for moving forward,"
News 12 has reached out to the Department of Education and is waiting for a response.