Westchester Panel Recommends Ways To Prevent School Violence

Peter Haskell
September 18, 2019 - 2:38 pm
Westchester County School Safety Pamphlet

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — The Westchester County school safety commission on Wednesday released its first report on how to prevent school violence before it occurs.

The commission worked together for a year to develop a plan to make schools in the area safer, now recommending a number of changes, including better communication between schools and law enforcement, as well as more training to spot troubled students.

“The committee's focus on creating a sort of blueprint or checklist of best practices for every school campus in Westchester,” said Westchester District Attorney Anthony Scarpino.

One focus the commission has recommended the school districts work on is emotional wellbeing.

“Incidents of targeted violence at school rarely were sudden or impulsive acts,” said Michael Orth, who heads the county's Department of Community Mental Health.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer agrees with the changes, saying one thing they’ve learned from previous instances of violence is how important it is to identity risks early and address them immediately.

Standards have already been set for every district in the county and police note that one officer will be assigned to each school.

There are more than 400 schools and over 40 police agencies in the county.