In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, east Bronx community and school officials recently got some first-hand information from police to review local preparations should the unthinkable occur.
The Community Board 10 School Safety Summit recently drew CB 10 district manager Ken Kearns and chairman John Marano, and NYPD officials including Bronx commanding officer Assistant Chief Carlos Gomez, Deputy Inspector Joseph Moscatt, and city Department of Education officials to discuss school safety measures already in place to prevent tragedies like the shootings that saw 20 young children and others killed by a deranged gunman in Newtown, Conn. last month.
Marano framed the meeting, held Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the board office on E. Tremont Avenue, as an attempt to dispense information to representatives from different local public and parochial schools.
“I just felt that after the tragedy up in Connecticut, that this was a good time to meet and maybe exchange phone numbers and handshakes and make sure everyone is on the same page if, God forbid, something ever happens in our schools,” said Marano.
The commanding officer for the Bronx, Gomez, said he was sure that the same discussions were taking place all over the city, and while he had no answers as to where the talks were headed at this point, said that the NYPD is paying close attention to matters of school safety.
“It is certainly on the police department’s radar,” said Gomez.
Every precinct in the borough has a school safety unit, he said, with the 50th precinct in Riverdale and Kingsbridge having the smallest contingent of officers assigned, and the 52nd Precinct in Fordham and Bedford Park the most assigned.
There are over 5,000 school safety officers, as well as contingency plans in place to keep students safe until first responders arrive, said NYPD officials.
Representatives from the offices of Congressman Eliot Engel, Congressman Joe Crowley, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Councilman Andy King, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca attended the meeting.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393