LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. – In response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Warren County Sheriff and local principals are teaming up to make sure their schools are safe.
In recent years many schools have done away with school resource officers because of budget cuts and limited resources, but Warren County Sheriff Bud York thought of an alternative that worked for both his deputies and the school district -- at no cost to anyone.
"My officers have to be out patrolling the roads every day. They drive by this school every day. Sometimes 10-15 times a day. It's not going to take them long to stop by the school," said York.
He tells NEWS CENTER says after the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred; he was determined to start a discussion with school on how to improve security.
"The days of resisting officers in schools are over it's time for the community to embrace this
form of safety," said Principal Francis Cocozza of Lake George Jr. and Sr. high.
Each school in Warren County, including elementary schools, agreed to provide patrol officers with a dedicated office outfitted with a computer that was already onsite.
The computer is connected to the sheriff's network for deputies to file reports while at the school.
"Any sort of schools admin approached with such an idea and it costs absolutely nothing...why
wouldn't you jump on it," said Francis.
Now the patrol officers stop by at least once a day every day at all Warren County schools.
Inside Lake George Junior Senior High, the small office for deputies is in a main hallway-- easy access by students and staff and visible for everyone to see.
Sheriff York's goal is to have police presence deter any potential act of violence within the school while at the same time building relationships with the students at school.
And Principal Franicis Cocozza says the police presence also has the potential to save lives.
"If one student approaches one officer and it deters one event in any Warren County school -- it's worth it."
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