The New York Police Department is making sure more of its officers are deployed to public schools after a spate of recent violent crimes near the campuses rocked the community.
According to a memo from the police department, Chief Jeff Maddrey ordered all precinct commanders to increase youth coordination officer (YCO) units at schools, with six officers and a sergeant supervisor in each unit.
That brings the number of YCOs citywide to 462.
Maddrey also ordered an “all out,” pulling police officers from administrative duties to provide extra security during dismissal time at “problematic schools.”
In addition, the memo stated that cops must enter schools and contact school safety agents or staff at the beginning of their shift. Officers from the Transit District school safety teams will also be strategically deployed as part of the effort to protect students’ safety.
The increase in police presence, according to the chief, is “due to the recent violence in the vicinity of schools.”
Chief of Patrol John Chell and the Chief of Housing Martine Materasso will oversee the initiative.
A recent example of violence at schools took place on February 20 after an elementary school in Staten Island was struck by gunfire, which led to two broken windows.
One of the classes was occupied by adults at the time, while the other was unoccupied.
No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made so far.
In other incidents reported earlier this month, two teens and a security guard were shot outside a Brooklyn high school during a street brawl, and in a separate shooting, two teens were wounded a block from a Williamsburg high school.
A 13-year-old boy was also charged for opening fire on two teens at Campus Magnet High School in Queens in early February.
During the 2022–23 school year, three students have been slain in the city, and 18 others have been stabbed or shot — mostly as a result of gang violence.
“A majority of the shootings around schools do have a gang element,” a police source told the New York Post.“Most of the beefs are wrapped around drill rap fueled by social media.”