In 2018, everyone from individuals to major organizations is focused on security. There are plenty of security companies that provide schools, businesses, and other establishments with cloud-connected security cameras with resolutions between 720 and 1080 pixels. The association, led by Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, is urging lawmakers to do more than install high-tech security systems, asking for funding for armed officers in 4,500 public schools and 2,000 private schools across the state.
Some larger districts currently have school resource officers (SRO) in place. However, the number of those SRO has dropped due to budget constraints, a lack of local funding, and other issues.
“The relationship of trust formed with the students often allows the SRO to gain critical timely information and intervene before an issue becomes an incident,” said Virts. “We spend many millions of dollars to protect a relatively small number of judges across the state, as we should. Surely we can also find the money to protect our most defenseless people — the children we send off to school each day.”
Schools and law enforcement agencies across New York have increased their efforts to protect schools and make them more difficult to target. This includes advising schools on hardware and protocol changes to better control access to school buildings, conducting “lockdown” exercises, and providing “active shooter” self-defense training to both staff and students.
“All of these preparations are important,” added Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy. “But the MOST important thing we can do is to get an armed deputy or police officer into every school immediately.”
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a non-for-profit corporation that has been assisting sheriffs across the state since 1934.