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Patrick Wall

Families flock to school safety forum in District 19

Brian Conroy, commanding officer of the NYPD’s School Safety Division, speaks at a safety forum at P.S. 13 in East New York. At far right is Erica Perez, president of Community Education Council 19, which organized the meeting.

The adults who attended a school-safety forum at P.S. 13 Tuesday morning had a lot on their minds: robbers preying on students headed to school; online taunts turning into real-life brawls; unidentified grownups wandering around school buildings.

The meeting, which was organized by District 19’s Community Education Council, attracted more than 50 educators, police and education department officials, and parents.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” said CEC 19 President Erica Perez, who has two children in the district’s schools. “But we do need a swift kick regarding safety issues.” Perez said she plans to make the school-safety forum an annual event.

Other concerns raised at the meeting included the limited number of school safety agents; uncertainty about whether principals or police should handle certain in-school incidents; and whether so-called safe corridors between some schools and nearby transit hubs are being used by students or patrolled by police.

“I think this is the start of something,” Brian Conroy, commanding officer of the NYPD’s School Safety Division, told the crowd. “I hope we can do more of this.”