“People keep saying School Safety Agents are a presence of police,” Eric Adams said, referring to the push by the Urban Youth Collaborative to get rid of School Safety Agents to ensure that there are no law-enforcement officers in city public schools, rather than merely shifting them from Police Department control to Department of Education jurisdiction, as Mayor de Blasio and the City Council agreed to do last summer.
He disagrees with that characterization, the Brooklyn Borough President said, a few minutes after he accepted the mayoral endorsement of District Council 37 in Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica March 24. Nor does he think there’s any upside in doing away with the School Agents, although he said that if he was elected, he would leave their deployment to individual schools after arranging to have safety teams created in each.
“We can have conversations about changing the uniforms so they look less like police,” said Mr. Adams, who retired from the NYPD as a Captain but whose 22 years in the job were marked by frequent complaints about top management and mistreatment of blacks, including him and his fellow officers, by white colleagues. “But we must always have some form of safety in the schools and the perimeter of schools to deal with [drug] traffic, gang violence.”
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