As the school bell rings and children throughout southern Brooklyn head off to class, cops from Patrol Borough Brooklyn South are going to be right behind them.
Area cops are preparing to make this one of the safest school seasons on record by re-initializing a time-tested school safety plan that includes additional patrols along school cooridors, as well as increased communication with local school administrators.
This year’s plan follows last year’s blueprint, which police said led to a marked decrease in youth-on-youth crime.
Historically, teen and pre-teen muggings and assaults increase in the fall, right when the school year begins.
Teens are usually targeted for their pricey cell phones, iPods, PSPs and other hand-held electronic devices they bring to school.
Whenever a new electronic device is introduced, such as the iPod or the SideKick cell phone, robberies of these items increase, police said.
“Anytime there’s a new gadget, all of the criminals want them,” said Inspctor Corey Pegues of the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush. “But we’re not going to lose focus. The safety of the children is paramount and while there are not as many robberies as there have been in years prior, we are going to be working more closely with the schools and youth officers.”
Inspector Ralph Monteforte, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct in Midwood, noted that cops will be on hand to prevent robberies and assaults as they watch the corridors students take from their schools to the buses and trains that take them home. Cops will be watching the corridors in uniform and plain clothes, he said.
“We are gaining some headway in crime reductions,” he said, adding that for the most part children are usually focused on the sought-after electronic devices — listening to music or texting on their new cell phone — when the robberies take place.
“Kids should be conscious to their surroundings,” said Monteforte. “When they are using these small electronic devices, they’re concentrating on the device so they don’t see what’s going on. That’s when someone comes by, grabs it and takes off.”
Monteforte recommended that parents get these items registered with the NYPD so if they are taken and later retrieved by police, they can be brought back to their rightful owners.
Anyone wishing to learn how they can get these items registered with the police can call their local precinct.