WHITE PLAINS, NY — More than 40 police chiefs, School Resource Officers (SROs) and school liaisons attended the inaugural School Resource Officer Summit at the Westchester Intelligence Center, a unit within the District Attorney’s Office, in White Plains.
Led by Acting Executive Director of the Westchester Intelligence Center (WIC), Andrew Ludlum, the objective of the School Resource Officer Summit is to develop a consistent and centralized information exchange process among School Resource Officers and other agency stakeholders across Westchester County’s 44 police departments and almost as many school districts.
During his opening remarks, District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. said, “not only does your presence in our schools serve as a deterrent to potential attacks and acts of hate, but your daily presence in our children’s lives is what builds trust and will ultimately encourage students to reach out to you should they see something that concerns them.” The DA also stressed that students, teachers and other educators should be able to walk into a building or onto a campus believing they are not at risk of violence or incidence.
Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins spoke briefly, highlighting the collaborative efforts required to ensure the continued safety of schools in Westchester County.
The inaugural Summit was well-attended and addressed information not only pertaining to school attacks but also to social media threats, hate-speech incidents and any other school-related trends SROs may encounter. Today’s SRO Summit is just the first in what will be an ongoing series of SRO intelligence meetings bringing together safety representatives from all levels of educational facilities in Westchester.
The WIC has a twofold mission in relation to school safety in Westchester County:
1. To collect, analyze and disseminate actionable intelligence regarding school threats and other school safety issues
2. To serve as a clearinghouse of training resource information for all communities.
How many schools in Westchester County:
· 40 School Districts
· 258 Public Schools, elementary, middle and high
· 122 Private Schools, elementary, middle and high
Approximately 32+ Colleges and Graduate schools, some with multiple locations