Adams emphasized the need for a collective effort, saying, "To ensure we continue to create a conducive environment for our children, we have to shuffle personnel as much as possible… we're going to lean on parents and parent groups for some volunteerism."
The mayor further stressed the urgency of the situation, stating, "We have to pull all hands on deck." Despite the challenges, Adams reassured the public of his commitment to maintaining safety in schools. "In my concern that we will compromise and make schools unsafe for our children, I am never going to allow that to happen," he affirmed. "But we are going to be straining at a very high level to get this done correctly."
Adams also highlighted the relative safety of New York City public schools compared to other districts. "We have been successful, unlike other municipalities, where they have had shootings on school grounds and in some cases of mass shootings," he said. "We have not had one shooting inside our school because of the diligent school safety agents and the New York City Police Department."
These comments come in the wake of criticism from Staten Island officials, who condemned the mayor's administration for abruptly ending a school safety program of 250 recruits. The city is redirecting more resources to manage the surge of migrant asylum seekers from the southern border.
Representative Nicole Malliotakis expressed her concerns during a press conference on Monday. "There’s nothing more important than the safety of our children. And this is part of a dangerous trend that the mayor has been setting for this city," she said. "We are seeing a reduction in the NYPD overall. We’re seeing fewer cops on the street. Fewer detectives being able to solve crimes to put people behind bars. And now we’re seeing 25% fewer safety agents than there were pre-COVID pandemic."
In September, Mayor Adams announced that all departments have until this month to cut 5% from their budgets as the city redirects more resources to handle the influx of migrant seekers. He also warned of another round of 5% cuts in January.
Adams previously stated that New York faces a "financial tsunami" that would impact every government service from "child service to our seniors to housing," largely due to the migrant crisis affecting the city.