Hundreds of school safety officers stage protest at City Hall
Hundreds of school safety officers converged at City Hall Thursday to protest their current job conditions. The officers argued that they need better resources to protect themselves and students. Equipped with a badge, handcuffs and a flashlight, officers say they getting are hurt trying to break up fights and stop violent acts. The rally comes after five officers were hurt on the job over the course of a single school day.
The officers' union wants the guards to be outfitted with puncture-proof vests and some form of a weapon. They say at the very least the weapon should be a baton. In addition to the extra equipment, the union is fighting for better radios for the guards. Officers say their radios are outdated and often do not work. They are worried about not being able to call for backup.
Some Bronx parents have expressed concerns about armed security guards roaming the local schools. Officers, however, want parents to realize that students are carrying knives and even guns. They say without increasing their equipment, there is no way to keep all students safe.Along with the safety concerns, officers are looking for an increase in salary. Officials believe they lose around 40 school officers a month because of wages. The union says Bronx officers earn about $25,000 a year.
School safety officers say Thursday's rally is simply the beginning of a series of demonstrations. Union officials say Bronx officers are not considering a strike, but they will hold more protests.