Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Ulster County committee formed to address school safety

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Albany/HV: Ulster County committee formed to address school safety
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In the wake of recent widespread concern surrounding school safety, Ulster County officials are forming a committee to work closely with the community. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on how they plan to address the issue.

ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Local leaders are stepping up school safety measures in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre. A newly formed committee made up of police agencies, the District Attorney’s office, mental health and the school is taking a look back at national tragedies.

“We will be looking at every mass shooting incident. We will be looking at Newtown when the proper intelligence is released,” said Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico.

And to aid in this process, they’re turning to the public, asking people to weigh in with their concern. Over the next three weeks, people are urged to send in written comments for review. The committee will then sit down to evaluate the information that’s been obtained.

“It’s really important to get their input and their understanding as to how they perceive this particular issue and what do they perceive to be the strategies to put in place,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra.

Local law enforcement administrators have been visiting area schools in recent days and have been in talks with school superintendents on the issue. They say it’s time to reevaluate the current policy and discuss ways to make improvements.

“With any of these school shooting incidences, there are red flags that have been seen and the dots haven’t been connect with schools, mental health and law enforcement. The goal is to get all of those entities together into one group to get them the help and services they need before they become a police matter,” said New York State Police Captain Robert Nuzzo.

Adding it’s no longer just a law enforcement issue, but an issue for the entire community to address together.

“This committee will grow. And we’ll bring in as many experts and as many ingredients from the community to make this a successful committee,” said Faluotico.

The committee plans on holding monthly meetings. Anyone with questions or concerns can send their comments to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office by mail at Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Attention: School Safety Concerns, 380 Boulevard, Kingston, NY 12401 or email at sheriff@co.ulster.ny.us .

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