Supervisors in Saratoga County thoughts on removal of armed guards in schools
The recent decision made by members of the Saratoga Springs City School District to remove armed guards from its schools has generated much public interest and a call for additional safety and security measures to help protect the children and faculty in the educational facilities located outside of the city limits.
Remarks published in the October, 25th edition of the Saratogian, Saratoga Springs City School District Superintendent Michael Patton references the Gun Free Zone Schools Act of 1990, as the boards reasoning to reverse the nearly 30 year old policy.
As Supervisors from the towns of Greenfield, Milton, Wilton and the City of Saratoga Springs, we support the School District’s effort to improve safety and security and encourage the Saratoga Springs School Board to learn more about the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Offices’ School Resource Officer (SRO) program, a program that is permissible under the Gun Free Zone Schools Act of 1990.
Implemented at the beginning of the 2018 school year, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office SRO program is now active in every school district across Saratoga County, except two. One, being the City of Saratoga Springs School District. The program has been well received and is considered a tremendous success in those districts who have SRO’s on its campus. We applaud the Board for having the SRO program at schools within the City limits, but the district encompasses all our towns and can be implemented at those schools as well.
Not only will the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office SRO’s provide safety and security measures, they will play an active role interacting with the children on a daily basis, as well as teaching topics on internet safety, antibullying and drug prevention. In addition, SRO’s will provide support for school district staff in the areas of lockdowns, advocacy, safety briefings and debriefings, in-school infractions and individualized training.
A Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office SRO is a tremendous asset that should not be overlooked. We strongly encourage you to consider meeting with Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo and his staff to learn more about the SRO program and the critical community services it provides.
Respectfully, Dan Pemrick Supervisor-Town of Greenfield Scott Ostrander Supervisor-Town of Milton Matthew E. Veitch Supervisor-City of Saratoga Springs Arthur Johnson Supervisor-Town of Wilton