In light of widespread concern surrounding school safety following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Ulster County officials are seeking comments from the public about how best to make the county’s schools safer places. School administrators are also in on the discussion.
Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum and District Attorney Holley Carnright are seeking written comments from the public. They are coordinating with the New York State Police, local police departments, and the Ulster County Police Chiefs’ Association to address school safety on a countywide level, in partnership with area school superintendents. To this end, the Ulster County Police Chiefs’ Association has formed a committee, chaired by the county Undersheriff, and consisting of a captain from the state police department, the Ulster County district attorney; and five area police chiefs.
City of Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti is on the committee.
And here’s Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright:
Kingston Police Chief Tinti says part of school safety is for law enforcement to be visible.
Maria Rice likes that idea, and says she is excited about the formation of the county’s new committee on school safety. Rice is the superintendent of the New Paltz Central School District.”
And it’s what is happening in the Kingston City School District as well. Here’s Police Chief Tinti:
Local law enforcement administrators have appeared at public school forums. In fact, there was a panel discussion and forum on school safety earlier this month at the New Paltz School district, and Superintendent Rice said it was at the forum the idea of installing surveillance cameras and a buzzer system was discussed. She mentioned there is one entry point for visitors in each of the four buildings.
She says they hope to have a new buzzer system installed in the next several months. Meanwhile, the Kingston City School District has new safety procedures for pickup and drop off, effective this week.
Also serving on the new school-safety committee are the town police chiefs from Shawangunk; New Paltz; and Saugerties. The committee will review written comments received by the Sheriff in the next two weeks.