06/17/2007

New York's School weapon-scan called a success

NEW YORK — Students checked more than 1,500 guns, knives and other dangerous items at the door at New York City schools this year - down 18 percent from last year.

From July 1, 2006, to June 10 of this year, cops netted 353 weapons - including guns and knives - from city schools. They also confiscated 1,340 "dangerous instruments," including penknives, imitation guns, laser pointers and pipes.

During the same period from 2005 to 2006, police collected 383 weapons and 1,678 dangerous items.

While a few confiscated weapons - like the .38-caliber revolver a 7-year-old boy brought to his Queens second-grade class in May - were nabbed at sites without metal detectors, most seizures came at schools with scanners.

The NYPD has placed the machines in 82 high schools and middle schools across the city since taking over school safety in 1998. They also use portable metal detectors and perform random unannounced scans in other schools.

"Overall confiscations are down because the scanning has worked as a deterrent," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

Meanwhile, 14,285 cellphones and 2,558 iPods were also confiscated through April, according to the Department of Education.

Copyright 2007 The New York Post

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