A Whitestone school that was the site of some concern earlier this year will soon see a security upgrade, a lawmaker announced on Wednesday.
On May 16, Councilman Paul Vallone announced a $425,000 funding commitment to install a complete Internet Protocol Digital Video Surveillance (IPDVS) system at P.S. 184, located at 21st Road and 163rd Street. It will be included in the fiscal year 2019 budget.
The system enables school officials to view live and archived camera images directly on their computer stations and provides remote viewing capability to authorized city personnel, according to the northeast Queens representative.
The announcement arrives about a month after the councilman’s call to the mayor to make an additional $100 million investment to install IPDVS systems in the city’s schools, where approximately one-third are without the modern security measure. In Vallone’s District 19, 62 percent of schools do not have the system installed.
The push was influenced in part by an incident at P.S. 184 in March, during which a suspicious man reportedly entered the school during school hours. Parents and community members attended District 25’s monthly Community Education Council meeting on March 8 to voice their concerns.
“At the Community Education Council District 25 meeting in March, I made a promise to the parents at 184 and [on May 16] I am fulfilling that promise by committing to funding a full security camera system for the school,” Vallone said.
The councilman again called on Mayor Bill de Blasio “to make school safety a priority.”
“Unfortunately, while this is great step forward, there are still many schools throughout Queens and the city that continue lacking security systems and only the mayor can provide the amount of funding needed to put cameras in every school,” he continued.
At their monthly meeting on May 14, Community Board 7 voted in favor of sending a “School Safety Resolution” to the area’s city, state and federal elected officials.
The group called for a series of protocol changes to be “immediately implemented,” including providing security at all exterior school doors, keypad-entry locks on classroom doors and increased interaction with school safety and NYPD personnel.
“In the wake of recent gun violence in school across the United States, Community Board 7 Queens honors and remembers all victims and survivors of gun violence and we implore the city and state of New York [to] do everything possible to keep our schools, our children, our teachers, and our communities safe,” the resolution reads.