STATEN ISLAND, NY – New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn) held a press conference on November 13 alongside elected officials regarding the cancelation of the upcoming class of 250 school safety agents.
Assemblyman Tannousis was scheduled to be joined at the press conference by Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, District Attorney Michael McMahon, Assemblyman Michael Reilly, Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo, NYS Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, NYS Sen. Andrew Lanza, New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli, Councilman David Carr, Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks, NYC School Safety Coalition Founder Mona Davids, and Community Education Council District 20 First Vice President John Ricottone.
Tannousis said: “The safety of our children should never be compromised. The cancellation of the 250-person school safety agent class is both unacceptable and irrational. These agents are trained and then deployed to various public schools around New York City for the sole purpose of protecting our children. While the city may be facing unprecedented budget cuts as a result of the migrant crisis, our children’s safety cannot be left vulnerable. The increase in crime in our streets, coupled with the recent conflict in the Middle East which has made New Yorkers potential targets of terrorism, has demonstrated the need for increased security in our schools. As a result, we are requesting that the new class of 250 school safety agents be reinstated immediately so these agents can be trained and deployed to protect our children.”
“We need more school safety agents to keep our children safe, not less,” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. “New York City is down 1,200 agents, a 25% cut from pre-COVID levels. We need Mayor Adams to put school children first and stop canceling new hires.”
“School safety agents are critical to the mission of keeping our community’s children safe while they are in public schools,” said Councilman David Carr. “Canceling a class of 250 new agents is unacceptable because the safety of our kids is non-negotiable, and it is especially outrageous given the billions the city is forking out due to the migrant crisis. I ask that Administration to reverse course and reinstate this class immediately.”
“The cancellation of hiring 250 additional School Safety Officers exacerbates an already challenging situation, placing the burden on our children,” said Councilwoman Kamilah Hanks. “Dedicated school safety officers are vital protectors during times of distress. Staten Island faces a shortage of assigned School Safety Agents, coinciding with a recent rise in youth violence and tragic incidents, highlighting the urgent need for increased attention and resources. We call for the reinstatement of the 250 canceled school safety officers and a stronger commitment from Mayor Adams and the NYPD to address the existing shortage.”