Last Tuesday the School Construction Authority broke ground for the 897-seat Law Enforcement High School in South Jamaica. The next day, at the 113th Precinct in Jamaica, a solemn ceremony honored seven police officers that gave their lives to protect the people of southeast Queens.
The new high school will focus on the opportunities associated with careers in law enforcement. Although this is not the road to riches, this is an area that offers an opportunity to pursue a profession rich in personal satisfaction. In recent years society has focused too much on the roller coaster ride being taken by Web businesses and Internet technology. People got rich quick and many got poor just as quick. The Law Enforcement High School will have the chance to offer a broader vision to children on the brink of adulthood.
This is a win-win situation for southeast Queens. As the mayor noted, the school will serve a dual purpose. It will provide students with a state-of-the-art high school, equipped with the first forensic science lab in a New York City School and it will provide the people of South Jamaica with a community center that will be open at night and on weekends.
The lab will have high-tech equipment almost identical to what the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses. In addition to standard academic courses, students will earn the latest in crime-fighting technology. The school will also have an Emergency Medical Services training room and a mock courtroom.
We assume that the NYPD and 113th Precinct will play some role at this new high school. Perhaps someday the officers who fought back tears on Wednesday as they remembered their fallen comrades will share their experiences with the young students at the Law Enforcement High School. We believe that their stories will reinforce in the students a sense of the value of serving society through law enforcement.
Of course, police work is just one of many potential careers in law enforcement. This is a broad category. The doors could lead to careers in the FBI, probation, parole or a future as a lawyer or paralegal. But all of the careers will offer the opportunity to do meaningful work that will encourage these students to make their world a better place in which to live.
Editorial: Brain freeze
We do not envy the officials who sit on the city's Rent Guidelines Board. Talk about a thankless job. Each year this board is charged with determining how much landlords can raise rents on the city's more than one million rent-stabilized apartments.
Depending on what they decide, they will anger either the tenant groups or the landlords. Often, as is the case this year, they end up angering both sides. Last week the board has decided to grant 3 percent raises for on year leases and five percent for to year leases. Their decision is still pending a final vote.
Since there are far more tenants than landlords, politicians are more likely to side with those who pay rent than to those who collect it. Take newly elected Congressman Anthony Weiner, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Now here's a man who's not afraid to engage in a little pandering when the opportunity arises. Weiner has called for a one-year freeze in rents. Said the congressman: New Yorkers need a chance to catch up to the high cost of living in New York City.
This might make sense if Weiner could also freeze the price of heating oil and other costs. Congressman Wiener's proposal is not only unrealistic; it has the potential to do serious harm. A one-year freeze is not a serious solution.
©2001 Community News Group
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