Displaying items by tag: SRO

 SARATOGA SPRINGS – At a special mid-day meeting of the City Council Aug. 27, the council approved a new contract to continue the School Resource Officer Program in the city’s public school system for the next two years.

The new contract represents some changes compared to the agreement which what had previously existed.

Previously, if the assigned SRO was not available – those cases including sick days and time off – a replacement had not been provided, explained Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin. With the desire to have an armed and trained SRO present at the high school every day, the new contract stipulates that should the assigned SRO not be available on any school day, the city will provide a qualified substitute for the position. To meet that expectation, three additional officers began their SRO training on Aug. 27 to ensure there may be substitutes available.

The SRO will be assigned to the school on a full-time basis and on duty at the campus from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each school day, excluding summer school and summer programs. The School Resource Officer remains an employee of the city and within the chain of command of the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

Previous costs to the school were about $53,000. To meet the additional guaranteed time, the new contract sets costs at $65,000 for the 2019-2020 school year, and $70,000 for 2020-2021.

An additional officer, supplied by the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office, is designated for Maple Avenue Middle School, Dorothy Nolan Elementary and the Greenfield Elementary schools.

Among the duties of the School Resource Officer: assisting the Principal in developing plans and strategies to prevent and/or minimize dangerous situations which may occur on campus or during school sponsored events.

The SRO shall take law enforcement action as required. Except in an emergency situation, the SRO shall obtain the consent of the principal of the school prior to taking such action. At the Principal's request, the SRO shall take appropriate law enforcement action against intruders and unwanted guests who may appear at the school, and related school functions. And, except in an emergency situation, the SRO shall notify the principal before requesting additional police assistance on campus.

Published in News
Thursday, 20 December 2018 12:09

Safe Schools Update

SARATOGA SPRINGS —
 At Monday night’s security forum, NYSIR made the recommendation to add one more SRO at Maple Avenue Middle School. One more for the entire district.

“This would mean that 6 of the 8 schools would be left defenseless if an active assailant presented on campus. The average police response time to nonpolice initiated calls in the city of Saratoga Springs is 7.7 minutes,” said the press release.

“I don’t carry a weapon here anymore, not allowed to, it would be against the law,” said Mark Leffler, who after 28 years with the Saratoga Springs Police Department joined the district staff in August.

“I feel that we are less safe now than we were.” John Catone, the city’s assistant police chief, also said the district’s schools were less safe without armed monitors.

For years the district employed former police officers as monitors who carried concealed weapons, but that practice was ended in the spring after district officials determined it was out of line with state law. The school board this fall voted against authorizing the monitors to again carry firearms.

“I think you are less safe now, because to me it was an overreaction to a problem that didn’t exist,” Catone said of disarming the grounds monitors. Asked about the assessment from Leffler and Catone that the schools are less safe now than when the monitors were armed, Patton said, "That’s their opinion.”

Published in Education
Friday, 25 May 2018 10:32

SECURING THE PERIMETER

SARATOGA COUNTY — Saratoga County Sheriff  Michael Zurlo, County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ed Kinowski and several school Superintendents today announced an agreement to establish a School Resource Offi  cer (SRO) Program in Saratoga County schools. Sheriff  Zurlo will dedicate several deputies to this program. During the academic year, the deputies will be stationed in the schools aft er graduating from a School Resource Officer Training Program which will take place this summer. Following incidents of school violence across the country, the Sheriff ’s Office was contacted by school leaders and parents asking for an SRO program in their schools. The six participating school districts responded to a letter sent by the Sheriff ’s Office earlier this year soliciting interest to participate in this program for the upcoming school year. Saratoga County will share costs for the deputies with each participating school district.

The School District will be responsible for 75 percent of the costs for the SRO which includes salaries, benefits, and equipment. The County will cover the other 25 percent of costs for these deputy positions.

“It is proven that School Resource Officers are a valuable asset in schools,” said Sheriff Michael Zurlo.

“Not only will deputies help promote a safer environment within the schools, but they will also act as liaisons between law enforcement and students, faculty and staff to help promote positive relationships between them,” he continued.

The SRO will not replace the school’s discipline system but will work with school staff in a collaborative way to enhance school safety and reduce incidents of violence or disorder. The SRO will also be able to provide information and presentations on topics like substance abuse and social conflict resolution.

“The safety of our children is paramount, and this program enhances that and provides a great additional asset for our schools,” said Chairman Ed Kinowski.

“The Board of Supervisors is looking forward to formalizing this partnership between the County, the Sheriff’s Office and our schools,” Kinowski stated.

The SRO proposal will be carried through the appropriate committees of the Board, before being brought to a vote of the full Board of Supervisors at their June meeting and is expected to have broad support. Participating School Districts Include: Ballston Spa Central School District; Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake Central Schools; Mechanicville City School District; Schuylerville Central School District; Shenendehowa Central School District; Stillwater Central School District; South Glens Falls Central School District.

So far, community response is positive. Several Facebook users have commented on the public page of Sheriff Zurlo commending him for his efforts on the matter.

Published in Education