‘Not A Good Idea,’ O’Neill Balks At Suggestion That Teachers Carry Weapons

Commish Says Plan Is In Place To Keep Kids, Educators Safe

Juliet Papa
February 23, 2018 - 4:56 pm
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill

1010 WINS/Juliet Papa

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD says educators are trained to keep kids safe, but putting guns in their hands won't be part of the plan.

There are 1,400 New York City schools, and Police Commissioner James O'Neill says he has a great program in place to keep students, teachers, and staff safe.

"School safety officers of course, there's 5,300 of them and we have a uniformed task force, but not only that, each and every precinct the NCOs have a relationship with the students and the teachers in every school. As far as arming every teacher, it's not a good idea," he said.

O'Neill said teachers have to teach. He said owning and operating a gun is a big responsibility best left to police officers.

He added that students and staff do drills with some regularity to know what to do in a crisis.

The idea wasn't getting much support from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"I think it is an absurd idea," he said, "We are now in this loop where Washington reduces the conversation to the ridiculous and the absurd, and then we debate the absurd."

Cuomo said focusing on school security ignores a larger issue.

"It was school safety in Florida, but this is about mass killings in schools, mass killings in nightclubs, mass killings in arenas, mass killings in shopping malls. So I'm not going to fall into the Washington trap of debating the absurdity of arming teachers, and making teachers police officers."

The governor said it all comes down to one thing.

"It's about guns," he said.

Cuomo called it a 'society-wide' problem. He said the answer is universal background checks, so the mentally ill cannot access guns.