Pound Ridge School To Have ‘Meaningful Police Presence’

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Members of the Pound Ridge Town Board discuss a plan to use police at Pound Ridge Elementary School. Photo Credit: Bob Dumas

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Town Board has agreed to “maintain a meaningful police presence” at the Pound Ridge Elementary School following the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

The move was in response to a request from Bedford School District Superintendent Jere Hochman for the town to provide armed police officers at the school.

The Town Board members would not disclose how and when the officers would be deployed and used, saying they didn’t want to reveal strategies and protocols.

“This began when the Town Board met last week regarding Dr. Hochman’s request for a police presence at Pound Ridge Elementary,” said Town Supervisor Gary Warshauer. “We met in an executive session and discussed personnel matters related to the issue and what would be done.”

Warshauer said that Pound Ridge Police Chief  David Ryan laid out the strategy regarding how the police would be used.

“The Town Board is unanimous in supporting the measures taken by the police chief,” Warshauer said. “But there are specifics from these security measures that need to be kept just among the people involved in security. But I think the chief has been very proactive.”

Warshauer said the police presence will be used in conjunction with other security measures that the school is implementing.

Board members said the police presence would remain until the end of the school year and then the procedures would be reviewed.

“This is a serious and emotional issue,” said board member Ali Boak. “We are taking a measured and responsible approach.”

Warshauer said the use of the town’s police force at the school would not have an impact on taxpayers.

“It’s absorbed into the budget,” he said. “It does not impact us financially.”

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Comments (4)

Benedict D:

I applaud Gary W and his board for keeping this issue 'front of mind'. We in PR are in better shape than other local towns, in that we have an officer at the school, which is the responsible thing to do. I do hope that the next step is long-term approval of this commitment. I pray we are not discussing it all over again at the start of next school year. If it can be voted on, then we should do that. As the article makes it sound like a full-time police presence is not confirmed after this year, i would like to understand why not. Is it board members that disagree, or is it a budget issue, or something else? All professional opinions, including Chief Ryan, have stated that the officer, in addition to every other precaution, and protocol, will keep the school safer. So, again, please help me understand what the hold-up is in approving it long term. I, and other parents/taxpayers want to understand what issues are stopping it. If we understand this, we can collectively work to get it done. If it is money, we will work together to find it. If it is board members positions, we can work to change their minds, or vote them out. Without full transparency, we as a community cannot work together to resolve this. Thanks again for your efforts, but please clarify the board's position.

jmalichio:

I think most people in town would like a security/police officer at PRES -- especially those with children in the school. Let's put it to a vote. This should be on the ballot in November if we can't get this done now (which we should be able to). Think of all the other provisions that have been on town ballots in the past. None are more important. Also, I think we should know where our board members stand on this issue. They are elected officials --and some are up for reelection. I have heard Ms. Boak is opposed to having an officer at PRES. Where do the other board members stand? The responsible approach is the one that makes our children safest. I think we know which "approach" that is. I don't care if the officer is in uniform or in plain clothes. It makes no difference to this parent. I want the deterrent and added security. I know of several other local towns that got this done within weeks. We are going on two months... tick-tock.

MarioVB:

I am pleased we will keep a cop at PRES until end of the year and hope it will be approved long-term. I am concerned in the definition of 'meaningful' however - can you clarify? Stay on it guys, it is our children's safety here.

NinaB:

May I ask for some more specifics on this security plan? While I understand that ALL security items may not be disclosed, please answer this. Will a police officer be present at the school full time? Very simple question. The only risk associated with disclosing this is if there is NOT an officer posted. If there is a cop permanently at PReS i want everyone to know. I am reading too much ' political speak here". Eg: meaningful police presence but they will not say how and when it will be deployed. There was a poll posted that was very simple and i commend the Voice for asking peoples opinions. And, by the way, people responded. Why can the town board not simply say YES or NO to the cop question - long term. Miss Boak is quoted saying 'it is a serious matter and we are taking a measured and responsible approach'. I am sorry, but what the heck does that mean? (I can answer it - nothing) Please advise the town on if a full time officer has been approved or not? I am sure none of you would be pleased or accept this 'non-specific' response to an important issue, whether from a politician or a rental car clerk. You know very well that people would like and deserve an answer - a clear answer. Then we can all move on.

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