Local response to threats of school violence

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Plans have been put in place for Capital Region schools to respond to threats of violence. Local school districts and law enforcement are gearing up.

“It’s not a matter if it happens here, it’s a matter of when it happens here,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.  

Sheriff Apple says he wants schools to be prepared for an active shooter situation.

“We will get the kids involved and teach them how to run, hide, and defend themselves if they have to,” said he.  

Two local incidents are highlighting the need to be prepared.

On Nov 23, Bethlehem Central High School received a threat from a student wanting to target others with violence.

The Bethlehem Police Department quickly identified the individual responsible for the posts and notified the Albany County Sheriff’s Office immediately. The Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction in this matter.

On Dec 2, Niskayuna Police officers responded to a report of an anonymous message of a gun being inside Van Antwerp Middle School.

“Some kids try to do it thinking it’s funny and some people intend on hurting people,” said Apple.  

“As much as our society has changed so have our safety protocols,” said Natalie McKay. 

Natalie McKay is the mom of a junior at Bethlehem Central High School says communicating with your kids about these high-stress situations is key. 

“We let our kids guide us. We ask them what they want to talk about and don’t want to talk about. I like to remind my daughter and she agrees with me that these measures are normal safety protocols now,” said she.

 Sheriff Apple says when a threat is made it’s best to air on the side of caution and take swift bold action. 

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