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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
Monday, December 20, 2010
The New York City Council voted on Monday to require the Police and Education Departments to produce regular reports on arrests, summonses and suspensions of public school students, a victory for civil liberties advocates who say that the school police have sometimes been too aggressive in trying to keep order.
The measure, which was introduced in August 2008, was approved unanimously after compromises were made to satisfy the police and education officials.
A proposal to require the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which hears complaints about police abuse, to also handle complaints about school safety officers had been removed. Instead, 311 operators will transfer complaints to the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
Groups like the New York Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund have complained for years that the school safety officers, who are members of the Police Department, as well as regular police officers tend to overreact, making arrests or writing summonses for infractions as minor as writing on a desk.