Professionalism, Respect for Clients are Key in Overhaul of Homeless Shelter Security

As New York City officials announced the city’s police will now oversee the Department of Homeless Services’ officers, The Legal Aid Society emphasized that the quality of staff service was most important in the city’s efforts to improve homeless shelter security.

Josh Goldfein, a Staff Attorney in the Civil Practice's Homeless Rights Project, spoke to NBC New York about the new measures. “It’s not about how many security staff are present, but about how smart they are, and are they being professional?” Goldfein said. According to NBC New York, 22 NYPD officers will manage shelter security, assisting the Department of Homeless Services’ more than 600 officers. Three NYPD officers were previously offered to assist with shelter security, NBC New York said. The NYPD officers will train the Department of Homeless Services staff on issues including crisis intervention and incident de-escalation, according to the video segment.

In his interview, Goldfein added that critical issues in the overhaul included whether security staff members were “looking out for the clients, are they being respectful and aware of what people’s needs are, and not overreacting, which is a problem that we’ve seen in the past.”