New York City parents are outraged, hoping Mayor Bill DeBlasio will intervene after a police officer was recently removed from a school that serves thousands.
DeBlasio has allowed for the removal of officers from schools to continue under his watch, a policy instituted by previous administrations.
According to the New York Post:
“The last NYPD cops assigned full-time to New York City public schools are being moved out — despite nationwide calls for heightened security in the wake of last month’s Florida shootings.
As the nation mourned the 17 victims of the school massacre at Parkland, Fla., the NYPD was removing Sgt. Raul Espinet from his post at Francis Lewis HS in Fresh Meadows, Queens — where he had worked for more than a dozen years. Parents, teachers and students are livid over the beloved cop’s departure.
“My colleagues think it’s outrageous — and really stupid,” teacher Arthur Goldstein said. “We’re not enthusiastic about arming teachers, but we liked having a cop around.”
Espinet’s position was eliminated because cops in Mayor de Blasio’s new community policing units will visit schools while patrolling the neighborhood, according to the NYPD. School safety agents are stationed at all schools, but are not armed…
Parents at the overcrowded Queens school, crammed with more than 4,400 students, are protesting the change.
“The community officer is in no way an acceptable replacement,” says a PTA petition launched last week.
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.”