Councilman Seeks Funding For Bulletproof Vests For NYC School Security Agents

March 12, 2018 - 1:32 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Bulletproof vests could be coming to the people who protect New York City schools.

As WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp reported Monday, Queens City Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. (D-31st) was asking for funding for the vests for school safety agents and volunteer officers on Monday. He called for the protective apparel in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school massacre that left 17 people dead last month.

“When you look at what happened in Florida, you know, there are going to be the individuals; the men and women who – in the event of an attack like we see in Florida, who are going to be on the front lines,” Donovan said.

Richards said Florida is a place, and a moment, that is helping drive his request. He wants $8.5 million in city funding to give bulletproof vests to the safety agents and auxiliary officers.

“There should be no price put on that,” he said. “It should just be something that this city does.”

He noted that the agents and volunteer officers do their work while unarmed.

Richards noted that the agents and volunteer officers do their work while unarmed.

“They are the eyes and ears as our children enter school buildings,” he said.

Richards has the support of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who called for vests after he was sworn in – just weeks before the Parkland massacre.

The Mayor’s office referred WCBS 880 to the NYPD for comment. There was no immediate response.

Donovan’s call came after the White House pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers, and also called for improvements to background check systems for firearm purchases, as part of a greater plan to prevent school shootings.

The White House plan, announced Sunday, did not include any move to raise the minimum age for assault weapons purchases to 21 – even though President Donald Trump has endorsed doing so.

A new federal commission will instead examine the age issue and other subjects as part of a longer-term examination of school violence and safety. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will chair the commission, the Associated Press reported.

President Trump on Monday tweeted that the White House would indeed endorse “very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House” and a ban on bump stocks. He also tweeted that “highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry” such to state law.

As to the change in age limits, Trump said the White House is “watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly).”

He also tweeted that keeping guns out of schools is not an option.