A Look at New York City School Safety 1

  1. At the start of the 2005 - 2006 school year, there were 4,625 School Safety Agents (SSAs) and at least 200 armed police officers in New York City Schools. These numbers would make the NYPD's School Safety Division alone the tenth largest police force in the country -- larger than the police forces of Washington D.C., Detroit, Boston or Las Vegas.
  2. At least 93,411 students attending at least 88 schools must pass through permanent metal detectors to enter their school buildings each day.
  3. Since Mayor Bloomberg implemented the "roving" metal detector program in 2006, the city's budget for school safety equipment more than doubled.
  4. New York City has more SSAs per student than other cities have police officers per citizen. New York City has two times as many SSAs per student that San Antonio has police officers per citizen.
  5. During the 2004-2005 school year, 82% of children attending high schools with permanent metal detectors were Black or Latino.
  6. Police and SSAs get involved in twice as many non-criminal incidents in schools with permanent metal detectors than in schools without them.
  7. The city spent an average of $9,601.87 on each student at a school with permanent metal detectors, compared to the citywide average of $11,282 per student. On students at schools with metal detectors with more than 3,000 students, the city spent only $8,066 per student.
  8. High schools with permanent metal detectors issued 48% more suspensions than schools without metal detectors.
  9. 70% of high schools with permanent metal detectors have graduation rates of less than 60%.


About the Issue
Fact Sheet
School Safety Accountability Coalition
The School to Prison Pipeline -- Links




1 New York Civil Liberties Union and American Civil Liberties Union (2007). Criminalizing the Classroom: The Over-Policing of New York City Schools.