In Wake Of Ongoing Gun Violence, Mayor Eric Adams Vows To Keep NYC Schools Safe: 'I'm Going To Protect My Children'
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the city still reeling from a pandemic of gun violence, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday hinted he might hire more police officers and school safety officers.
He is vowing also to enact new reforms to keep kids safe in school, after CBS2's Marcia Kramer showed him pictures of a backpack stuffed with weapons found at a Manhattan school.
Adams shut his eyes and and took a deep breathe after looking at a picture Kramer handed him of weapons and other gear in a backpack brought to Manhattan's Intermediate School 70 by a 14-year-old.
"This is real. These are real weapons that could be used on teachers, staff, administrators, and most importantly our children," Adams said.
The mayor, facing a public safety crisis after two cops were gunned down and others were wounded, spoke out after Kramer asked him about the need for more cops and headcount reductions that have left the NYPD School Safety Division with 2,000 fewer agents.
"Marcia, this is such an important question that you ask," Adams said. "When people attack me for having school safety agents in our schools they need to see this. I'm not removing my school safety agents. We're gong to do an analysis of the needs and I'm going to protect my children."
The mayor is also conducting an analysis of the NYPD to see if there are enough cops to carry out his aggressive blueprint for public safety to get guns off the street.
He also has plans to improve school safety.
"I'm exploring to change the uniform of our school safety agents. We're looking at new technology that identify weapons that is not the magnetometers that could be very intimidating. We're making sure that around the grounds are safe and we're looking at alternative methods to deal with conflict resolution," Adams said.
This as police and other city unions began notifying their members that they have until Feb. 11 to get COVID vaccinations or be terminated.
An NYPD spokesman said only about 200 cops and civilian employees would be affected, but the mayor is resolute that his vaccine mandate be followed.
"Safety is not only to stop a bullet, a knife, or some other item. Safety is COVID. COVID is taking lives. There must be rules and we must follow them. The rule is to get vaccinated, if you're a city employee. You have to follow that," Adams said.
The mayor also said he was looking forward to President Joe Biden's visit here later in the week to discuss public safety, and with the swagger we've come to expect from him he said the president was coming because he's the president's "favorite mayor."
Gregory Floyd, the head of the school safety union, called the mayor's response to Kramer's question encouraging. However, he pointed out that last week Adams talked of phasing out school safety agents.
for more features.