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June 19, 2019 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. addressed the members of the Westchester School Safety Commission the morning of June 19 at its final meeting before adjourning for the summer. Joining the District Attorney was Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, who also addressed the group, reiterating the continued support for the Commission by County Executive George Latimer and County departments included on the Commission.

The group reviewed recommendations from the Crisis Management Committee. That law enforcement arm of the commission, and one of two committees that make up the Commission, presented a list of 10 proposed recommendations it called “a starting point.”  

Noting 2019 marked the 20-year anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, Matthew Tormey, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Chief Criminal Investigator, who chairs the Crisis Management Committee said,
“Unfortunately, we continue to see school shootings and other school safety incidents too often. This committee has looked at those incidents and has come up with recommendations with a theme that runs through them – preparation.”

The Crisis Management Committee is composed of law enforcement professionals representing 13 different agencies. Tormey noted the committee is always bringing people in to join the core group because it “makes us smarter, makes us better.” He added, “We’ve got a nice cross-section of opinions as we look to help prevent or mitigate school safety issues.”
Key points in the draft recommendations include establishing a local law enforcement point of contact for every school, an annual review of school Emergency Response Plans for each facility, enhancing emergency access to buildings, and planning community-based multi-agency emergency response drills.

At the meeting, Commission members were also given an update on the State’s newly enacted Red Flag Law, set to go into effect Aug. 24, 2019, and how it will be implemented.
The Threat Prevention and Intervention Committee gave a presentation with draft recommendations at the earlier joint meeting in February. Since then, both groups have been researching and refining their recommendations to be included in a report to be issued when the 2019-2020 school year gets underway.

DA Scarpino stressed that the comprehensive report, to be released at the next full Commission meeting Sept. 18, 2019, will be just the next step in the work of the Commission, which will continue to focus on the safety of our children and young adults.

three people Westchester DA Anthony Scarpino, Jr. addressing the Westchester School Safety Commission
three peopleDeputy County Executive Ken Jenkins also addressed the commission.

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