Crime has spiked in the city’s public schools, officials said Friday.
New data published by the NYPD shows that major crimes, arrests, summonses and the use of restraints all increased in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in the year before.
The gains come after the city schools reported record-low levels of crime for the school year that ended in June.
But critics say the current school year that started in September is one of the bloodiest in years.
The current school year saw the first school murder in more than two decades and the first time a gun was fired inside a school in more than 15 years.
Still, officials characterized the rise in criminal incidents in city schools between October and December as a bump in the road in the journey to safer schools.
NYPD School Safety Division Assistant Chief Brian Conroy said that longer-term trends still show that the schools keep getting safer.
“Keeping people safe is a core mission for the NYPD, and a safe school environment is one of the fundamental building blocks of a solid education,” Conroy said.
“That’s why the NYPD and the DOE work closely together — to ensure that our school community is safe and to identify where we need to focus additional attention and resources.”
The figures published Friday show reported incidents of major crimes in the public schools, such as larceny, arson or robbery, rose to 163 in the period of October through December 2017.
That’s up from 151 in the same period in 2016.
The stats also show that arrests rose to 399 in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 373 the year before.
And the data published by the NYPD also show that criminal summonses issued at schools for relatively minor crimes, such as possessing a weapon or drugs, rose to 298 from 254 a year earlier.
Likewise the use of restraints on students also rose, to 604 incidents from 554 in 2016.
Data for those categories from 2015 is unavailable because the city wasn’t yet using its current school crime tracking procedures.
NYPD and school officials responded to the bump in crime in the fourth quarter of 2017 by increasing teacher training and dispatching more cops to 50 school buildings that were the sites of many of the incidents.
And as a result, Conroy said crime dipped again in January compared to the year before.
During the month of January, major crime in schools decreased from 44 in January 2017 to 33 in January 2018, NYPD data shows.
“This detailed data allowed us to quickly identify areas of need and swiftly deploy resources to supports schools,” said Mark Rampersant, the Education Department’s deputy CEO for safety and security. “Parents should rest assured that schools are safe.”
The city schools that received extra police patrols and teacher training in January include the Bronx Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, where 15-year-old Matthew McCree was killed by a fellow student in September.
The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem also received added support in January but students there said they still felt unsafe in areas of the school.
“The cops patrol daily inside our school,” said freshman Jonathan Robinson, 14. “I only feel safe in certain situations. You never know what’s going to happen. Anything can happen anywhere.”
Send a Letter to the Editor
KERRY BURKE, BEN CHAPMAN