Rob Romano Sep 8, 2017, 9:40 am

Paterson assigns extra police around high schools

Move is in response to concerns that students will have to pass through areas controlled by street gangs

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As students in Paterson begin the school year, more police officers will be walking the streets near two of its high schools.

Students are starting their second school day at Eastside High School in Paterson. Just a block away, another school is open — the newly relocated Great Falls Academy.

That school is described by the district as a "refuge for disenfranchised high school students" who have had trouble in a traditional learning atmosphere.

At Great Falls Academy, the chain link fence is open. The school is home to some students under court order, as a way for them to avoid juvenile detention.

This year, the school moved from neighboring Prospect Park. To ensure that all students are safe, the city of Paterson is not taking any chances. They’ve added four officers to the area surrounding the school and Eastside High School.

Our partners at The Record say there are concerns that students making their way to Great Falls Academy will have to pass through the areas controlled by rival street gangs, which could lead to violence.

One police officer will be assigned at Roberto Clemente park, another near a bakery across Market Street and two others on Park Avenue and Market Street.

The police department says it will be evaluating the patrols later this month and will make any necessary changes at that time.

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