New York State Senate Republicans are fighting Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to remove state police officers from school districts in suburban and rural areas and put police in high-crime areas, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. Senators will try to restore $14 million for 92 troopers posted at 118 school districts across the state, mainly in districts that do not have their own police departments. Republican lawmakers questioned Spitzer’s reasoning, saying school-resource officers provide safety in schools and thwart potential problems.
The school resource officers responded to more than 2,500 criminal calls, made more than 1,000 arrests, and confiscated nearly 100 illegal weapons this school year. Spitzer wants to take the resource officers out of schools and use them in the state’s successful Operation IMPACT program, which deploys police to high-crime areas in upstate New York. “It makes sense to have those officers deployed into those urban centers where we have a spike in murder rates,” Spitzer said.