Bedford Police Top Brass Attend School Safety Symposium

in School News

On February 27th, 2013 Bedford Police Chief William Hayes and the Department’s three Division Commanders, Lt. Edward Collins, Lt. Jeffrey Dickan, and Lt. Melvin Padilla attended an important school safety symposium organized by Westchester Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth and the Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association.

The symposium, held at SUNY Purchase, was conceived to answer many of the questions that school officials have raised in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and to provide practical guidance for school officials on how to make their schools safer in the wake of senseless acts of violence such as the tragedy in Newtown, CT. One of the goals of the event, which is part of the county’s broader Safer Communities Initiative, is to enhance the collaboration between law enforcement and school districts. In attendance were Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, along with dozens of police officials, school administrators, and school board members from throughout Westchester County.

William Bratton, former commissioner of the NYPD and former chief of police in Los Angeles, was the keynote speaker. Bratton is well known for implementing strategies that have prevented and reduced violent crime wherever he has served. Chief Hayes stated, “Mr. Bratton’s remarks provided an insightful introduction to the seminar.”  Among the topics discussed were:  An Overview of School-based Violence in America, Practical Emergency Preparedness for Schools, Police Response to Dynamic Incidents in Schools.  These discussions provided timely guidance and practical advice for school officials in the process of revising security procedures and updating state-mandated emergency plans.

Chief Hayes said, “Our two public school districts, along with all of the private and parochial schools in the Town add up to nearly 30 schools. With so many schools and daycare facilities spread out over 39 square miles, there is clearly not a “one size fits all” solution to enhancing security at schools. I hope that those officials in attendance received important information that they can use in their preparedness efforts at their particular school. I extend my personal thanks to those school officials that attended.”  For full details, view this message on the web.