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NYPD: Number of weapons confiscated in city schools has skyrocketed 80% so far in 2022

NYPD reports surge in number of weapons being confiscated at schools 02:55

NEW YORK -- City students are taking up arms in record numbers. The NYPD has reported a stunning and terrifying surge in the number of guns, knives, stun guns, and other weapons being confiscated by school safety agents.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday, you may be surprised about who is bringing the guns in.

It was a little over three weeks ago that Mayor Eric Adams shut his eyes and took a deep breath 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.

"These are real weapons that could be used on teachers, staff, administrators, and, most importantly, our children," Adams said.

Well, Mr. Mayor, it's even worse than you thought, because apparently New York City students are involved in an arms race. The number of weapons confiscated so far this year has surged a startling 80%, with 3,315 weapons recovered in schools from July 1 to Feb. 20, compared to 1,845 during the same period in the 2019-2020 pre-pandemic year, the NYPD said.

The picture looks even worse when you look at the types of weapons students are bringing to class.

Only one gun was recovered prior to the pandemic, but 14 have been recovered so far this year. Tasers increased from 47 to 325, a 561% jump. Knives increased from 1,134 to 1,420, up 25%.

"The good kids are bringing weapons to school to protect themselves from the gang members. The gang members are bringing the weapons to school because there's no penalty," said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237.

Floyd, the head of the school safety union, said the Legislature has to reform its so-called "Raise the Age" legislation so that students under the age of 18 bringing weapons into schools face criminal penalties.

"That's why we have an 80% increase. Before, you had laws in place. Children knew they couldn't bring guns to school, so therefore they didn't bring guns to school because they knew they would be arrested. Now, they don't have that over their heads and now the children are just going wild," Floyd said.

The surge has come as the new budget proposed last week by Mayor Adams called for not filling some 560 vacant school safety positions. Kramer asked him how that makes sense.

"You would think that given the fact that they're collecting these weapons, you would want to increase the number or at least bring it up to what it was pre-pandemic," Kramer said.

"Chancellor Banks is looking at that. Remember, that was a preliminary budget. If we see the need to make modifications, we're open to doing that," Adams said.

The mayor also talked about being smarter in detecting weapons. The city embarked on a pilot program at Jacobi Hospital on Wednesday that uses new electromagnetic technology to see is someone has a gun or knife. The mayor said if it works it could be installed in schools.

There are now approximately 3,600 school safety agents, down from about 5,000 pre-pandemic. 

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