By Naeisha Rose
At a City Council Committee on Public Safety last week, the commissioner of the School Safety Division for the NYPD testified about how the number of weapons seized at schools has grown by nearly 200 this year compared to last year.
Assistant Chief Brian Conroy testifed Nov. 21 before the committee, where one of its members — Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) — wanted to tackle issues going on at John Bowne HS in Flushing.
A total of 224 students at the school were removed or suspended during the 2016-2017 school year with nine of the incidents for weapons possession, according to Lancman.
“Yesterday a student was caught with a gun unloaded,” said Lancman. “At some time soon we are going to have to meet and go over what is going on at this school.”
Lancman later asked Conroy what he was doing at John Bowne and other high schools like it, which are persistently facing problems.
Conroy said he is working with school administrators, community leaders and the NYPD’s outreach team to reach the troubled students who are causing incidents in the schools.
“We are working with the school administration to identifying what the issues might be,” Conroy said. “Our community outreach team has been to the school to talk with students and work with students.”
There were a total of 746 weapons recovered in schools citywide from July 1 to Nov. 12, according to NYPD stats. Last year there were only 552 seizures during that same time span.
“Weapons recovery increased by a third when compared to last year,” Conroy said.
Weapons seized included firearms, tasers/stun guns, BB guns, knives, boxcutters/knives, and miscellaneous weapons, according to the NYPD.
The biggest jump in weapons seizure types involved knives, boxcutters and miscellaneous weapons, according to the stats.
The statistics show only a small uptick in taser/stun guns and a decrease in firearms and BB guns confiscated.
This year there were 407 knives, 246 boxcutters and 72 miscellaneous weapons seized, according to thr NYPD states. Last year there were 305 knives, 172 boxcutters and 49 miscellaneous weapons retrieved.
There were seven tasers found in schools compared to six last year. Gun seizures dropped from four to two this year. There were only 12 BB guns seized vs. last year’s total of 16, according to the NYPD.
“All students need a safe and supportive learning environment to succeed in the classroom and thrive in their community,” Conroy said. “The Police Department is committed to providing a secure, supportive, inclusive and equitable learning environment in every New York City public school.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose