SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Saratoga Springs Police Department and the City School District have announced a partnership aimed at increasing security in our public elementary schools.
The Police Department says beginning April 2nd, each public elementary school within the city limits - Division Street, Caroline Street, Lake Avenue and Geyser Road - will provide workspace that police officers can utilize to perform certain clerical and investigative tasks. They say a goal of this is to enahnce the positive relationships between police officers and the district's staff, faculty, students and parents.
Since the suspension of the Police Department's D.A.R.E. program in early 2010, the police department has been exploring various means to reintegrate its officers into the elementary school setting in a way that is both non-threatening and allows officers to form long-lasting bonds with our city's young children.
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the police department was looking for a way to have increased safety in the schools, enhance professional and community relationships, and provide a workspace within the schools for police officers where they can perform some basic investigative follow-up tasks without the need to return to police headquarters.
The department says officers will not use the space to conduct interviews and will not bring witnesses, victims or suspects into any school. All those interviews will continue to be conducted at police headquarters.
Meetings were held over the past several weeks between police, district administrators and the various elementary school principals to work out the details.
Since officers will be utilizing this space as part of their normal routine patrol activities, it is anticipated that this partnership will be at no cost to city and school district taxpayers. Officers will be in the schools at various times during the day and night.
The police department will also reach out to the city's private schools in the near future to discuss the same issues with the hope that similar plans can be implemented. Saratoga Springs High School already has a police officer onsite in the role of a resource officer.
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