UPPER EAST SIDE — Local education leaders are set to oppose a plan to eliminate a special NYPD unit that responds to school emergencies.
The NYPD's plan to do away with the Schools Unit — which provides backup to area schools for emergency cases including fights and emotionally disturbed students — at the 19th Precinct and to replace it with officers who'd be assigned to geographic beats is not sitting well with District 2's Community Education Council, who've drafted a resolution to oppose the idea.
"The Community Education Council District 2 urges the NYPD to maintain the Schools Units at reasonably staffed levels allowing them to retain their current responsibilities serving schools, students and staff," the resolution states.
The NYPD's policy would reassign officers to patrol geographic beats and is meant to get officers to understand the neighborhoods and schools better, rather than have a specific group of officers report to all of the schools in the precinct.
The new structure has already rolled out in the the 33rd and 34th precincts in Washington Heights and Inwood and the 100th and 101st precincts in Rockaway. Police sources confirmed in July that it was to be implemented in the 19th precinct by the start of the upcoming school year.
Last month, the CEC for District 2 was split over whether to support the plan, and decided to bring it back up for discussion at a meeting on Sept. 10.
The resolution also states that, if any changes were ultimately made, the NYPD would share more detailed information about the plan with the council. It also requested that the Department of Education work closely with the police to make sure schools receive the same level of care as it did with the Schools Unit.
At last month's meeting, some council members said they had heard from local school administration that some of the newly assigned officers in the 33rd and 34th precincts didn’t know what their roles and missions were and didn’t have as much understanding of the schools as the officers in the special unit.
Council members also said they'd rather wait until the kinks are worked out before the same changes come to the Upper East Side.
When reached on Aug. 20, NYPD denied that the new policy would be implemented at the 19th Precinct for now.