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Cameras secure school

After several break-ins and years of waiting, P.S. 89 will finally be receiving the surveillance cameras that they have longed for.

P.S. 89, located 980 Mace Avenue, has been subject to more than three breaks-ins over the past few years. Each break-in left the school without the valuable resources the students need.

About three years ago, vandals entered the building and stole computers worth $85,000 while damaging the bulding.

Another break-in resulted in the loss of numerous laptops from the computer lab and more damage to the school.

“The third time we were hit, my office was robbed, which I share with a dean and teacher,” said parent coordinator Francine Palmieri. “The thieves stole our computers and the laptop in my drawer, and money I had been accumulating to buy turkeys for families of our needy students during Thanksgiving.”

According to Palmieri, after the first robbery, donations enabled the school to purchase new computers, and following the second the Board of Education used school funds to resupply the computers.

Recently, a mobile science cart and a new library were secured through funds from Councilman Jimmy Vacca. A grant from Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera permitted the purchase of 30 new computers. The school also expects to build a new science lab and renovate the computer lab.

With the many improvements coming to P.S. 89, security became an increasing concern, so principal Ronald Rivera reached out to Vacca for assistance.

Vacca contacted the School Construction Authority with Rivera’s concerns, and soon after the principal received an email assuring the installation of surveillance cameras.

“We are delighted with the Board of Education and their responsiveness and to Jimmy Vacca for all his help,” said Rivera. “This will greatly benefit the students by protecting their property. Also, we put in a request with the 49th Precinct to etch all the computers. This is not a good place to come anymore if you are a thief.”

In addition, an alarm system was installed on the 4th floor of the building, the only floor that did not have one.

“What happened here is we have equipment vandalism over weekends and evening hours and much of the equipment is very valuable,” said Vacca. “I tried to help them secure their investments. We have to make our schools as safe from vandalism as possible.”

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