Brooklyn, NY – Since taking office in 2010 Councilman Greenfield has been working on legislation to ensure that non-public schools would receive the same security as public schools. That security, provided by the NYPD, comes in the form of a NYPD School Safety Agent. Greenfield’s bill, Introduction 65, has passed a critical threshold: as of this week 45 of the 51 members of the Council have co-sponsored Greenfield’s non-public school safety legislation.
This council-wide support is a significant step forward in the bill’s journey to becoming law in New York City. As a result of the vast support that Greenfield’s bill has achieved, it will now be heard by the New York City Council’s Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Council Member Vanessa Gibson. After the committee hears the bill there will be a vote on the legislation and if approved by the committee it will move forward to the full City Council for a vote.
“The importance of this bill is obvious: schools have sadly become targets for violence and all too often we see tragedies at schools in the United States and across the world. All students deserve safe and protected learning environments. New York City already provides these security measures to public schools we would simply expand it to make sure that non-public schools are included,” said Councilman Greenfield. “The fact that this bill has overwhelming support from my colleagues in the New York City Council proves just how important this is. I will continue to lead the fight for its passage in 2015.”
“Our city has an obligation to keep every one of our children safe, regardless of what kind of school they attend. The frightening rise in religiously motivated attacks in New York City and around the world has made sectarian schools more vulnerable than ever, and this bill would provide students at such institutions a measure of much-needed protection,” said Councilman Mark Levine, Chair of the Jewish Caucus that is unanimously supporting this bill
“The OU applauds Councilman Greenfield and the City Council for bringing this important bill to a hearing. We believe Intro 65 is a matter of equality, all children, regardless of school placement, deserve to be safe when learning in their classroom,” said Jake Adler, Acting Policy Director for the Orthodox Union who has been advocating for passage of this bill.
The legislation would require for the NYPD to assign a school safety agent to any public or private school that requests one. The school safety agents guard the entrance to the school, register all visitors and serve as front line for security for the school. While they do not carry guns, the school safety agents have a direct line to the NYPD via their radio communications. These school safety agents play an essential role in ensuring that only unauthorized persons have access to the school-building.
Councilman Greenfield first introduced legislation to tackle this shortcoming in school security in the previous Council in partnership with then Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. who was the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Greenfield has used his position as senior leader of the New York City Council and a member of the Speaker’s leadership and budget negotiating teams to make this bill a top priority.