We received from a “Blkn Tipster” what looks like a letter from Saint Ann’s officials sent out to the parents of the school, where it seems they are okay with the Probation Office move:
We believe that as long as the school and its neighbors are doing everything they can to ensure student safety, there is a limit to the extent to which the school can or should appropriately try to influence, block or change the environment and facilities in which Saint Ann’s has always chosen to locate itself.
Can anyone involved with Saint Ann’s (officials or parents) confirm this? Full letter posted below:
July 2008Dear Saint Ann’s Parents,We are writing to discuss the impact on Saint Ann’s School of the agreement between the U.S. General Services Administration and the owners of Pierrepont Plaza to replace the U.S. Attorney’s Office (which is moving to the former General Post Office Building opposite the Federal Court House) with the U.S. Probation Office in the Eastern District as a tenant in Pierrepont Plaza. The move consolidates Probation Office facilities formerly located in other Brooklyn Heights locations including 75 Clinton Street, a building near Packer Collegiate Institute.For many years, up to the present, the main offices of the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District, have been located in Pierrepont Plaza directly adjacent to the Lower School and Middle/High School buildings on Pierrepont Street and in the former Brooklyn Union Gas Building opposite the Lower School. Saint Ann’s is also a tenant of the Pierrepont Plaza building. The Computer Center and four classrooms are located in two different ground floor areas of this building, each with a separate entrance with its own security guard, used only by Saint Ann’s students and faculty.Saint Ann’s School places the highest priority on its responsibility to protect the safety of our students as they engage in school activities during the school day. Our school is located in an urban area in which our neighbors include federal, state, and city institutions that are part of the criminal justice system. Within the U.S. Attorney’s offices, employees regularly conducted active criminal investigations under high security conditions involving armed guards. Saint Ann’s School administrators and security staff have always taken these facts into account in developing supervision procedures for our campus during school hours. We do not know of any incidents in which the presence of the U.S. Attorney’s office compromised the safety of our students in any way over the years.Consequently, we have begun meeting with the Chief of the Probation Office to ensure a cooperative and collaborative relationship between Saint Ann’s and the Probation Office that will maximize our joint efforts to ensure the safety of Saint Ann’s students. Discussions with Packer and Probation Office administrators and the Brooklyn Heights Association have indicated that the history of the Probation Office’s facility on Clinton Street has been without incident. We have been assured by the Chief of the Probation Office that loitering outside the office’s entrance will not be permitted, and that the office’s security personnel will be located within the office and will not be stationed on Pierrepont Street or routinely visible to our students.We believe that as long as the school and its neighbors are doing everything they can to ensure student safety, there is a limit to the extent to which the school can or should appropriately try to influence, block or change the environment and facilities in which Saint Ann’s has always chosen to locate itself.As New Yorkers, we all confront the daily reality that sending a child to school in New York City presents a host of issues that are unique to an urban setting.. Walking to school or taking public transportation, going out to lunch, hanging out, or playing after school all involve interactions with a far more diverse community than would be true in a suburban or rural location. We feel that helping our children and students learn to deal with such interactions has been, and always will be one of the benefits, as well as one of the potential challenges, of attending school in a setting such as ours.We recognize that some members of the Saint Ann’s community may disagree with our conclusions or merely want more detailed information about the facility. We are actively cooperating with the Chief of the Probation Office and with elected officials in their efforts to disseminate information via e-mail and to schedule face-to-face informational meetings with Probation officials.Sincerely,Dr. Larry Weiss, Head of SchoolPeter H. Darrow, President, Board of TrusteesSent via e-mail.Hard copy will follow in regular mail