Contact: Sandy Silverstein
Brooklyn, May 25, 2010 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Local 237 Teamsters President Gregory Floyd today announced the creation of the Assault on School Safety Officers Program. The initiative, the first of its kind in NYC, is designed to ensure that assaults on school safety officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The program is similar to the DA’s Office’s Assault on Police Officer Program (APOP) and Assault on Transit Workers Program, which were implemented in 2008, in that the programs’ goals are to protect those officials from random attacks. These programs consist of a team of prosecutors and investigators who look into cases where an officer, transit worker or school safety officer has been seriously injured, shot at or attacked with a deadly weapon, or if there is an attempted assault.
District Attorney Hynes said, “School Safety Officers are an integral part of our city’s school system as we feel it is important to provide a safe place for students to get an education. There is always the danger of people bringing weapons into school and fights breaking out. Additionally, predators will sometimes try to enter school grounds where they do not belong and start trouble. Unfortunately, School Safety Officers are vulnerable to random attacks. This new program lets the public know that if they assault a School Safety Officer, they will be arrested and prosecuted the same as if a police officer or transit worker was assaulted. They will face felony assault charges. I would like to thank Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Local 237 Teamsters President Gregory Floyd for their cooperation in putting this program together.”
NYPD Commissioner Kelly said, "While NYPD School Safety Agents represent only a fraction of the more than 1.1 million students and faculty in public schools, the reality is that they are the victims of one-third of the assaults that happen there. Overall crime in schools is down nearly 31% since 2002. It's basic mathematics -- the successes in public school safety are the sum of the good work of School Safety Agents and their police counterparts across the City. And now, thanks to programs like the one being introduced today in Brooklyn, recess is over for those who think they can harm a School Safety Agent without consequence."
Local 237 Teamsters President Floyd said, “Our School Safety Agents risk their lives to protect our children, and in turn they deserve the full protection of the law. This program sends the message that we will not tolerate assaults on the people who make it safe for our students to learn and grow. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and DA Charles Hynes have been leaders in fighting crime because they understand that we cannot have a strong city without a safe city. That commitment continues in our schools and our children, who will make up the next generation of New Yorkers. Today, we take a large step in not only protecting our SSAs, but ensuring a bright and safe future for all of us in New York.”
There are 5,000 school safety agents in New York City. There has been a 6.9% increase in felony assaults against school safety agents since last year.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Colleen Babb from the Crime Prevention Division will be heading up this new program.