Clarkstown Police Add School Walking Tours To Patrols (VIDEO)

Clarkstown police officers on patrol now stop each day and take a walking tour of one of the school buildings within their route.


As of last week, Clarkstown police officers on patrol began stopping and taking a walking tour of one school building within their route each day.   The new directive comes from the department after discussions with public and private school representatives and town officials.

Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan said Monday all 37 public and private schools within the town would be visited on a random basis by the officers assigned to those areas. Following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, police increased their presence at local schools.  Chief Sullivan said the new effort goes one step further then having officers drive around schools and through their parking lots and is a “commonsense” approach to increasing police presence in the schools. 

The initiative includes the Clarkstown and Nanuet school districts and private schools.

“The purpose of this program to find a way that we could do this economically and get it done today, not six months down he road or a year down the road,” he explained. “We want to make the schools safe today.” 

Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack said town officials were open to new school safety measures and the initiative does not require additional funds.

“There’s no additional cost at this time,” he said.  “We’re just pleased the schools have embraced this.” 

Gromack anticipates future announcements about new training, techniques and initiatives to continue to improve school safety.  Chief Sullivan said the department would be meeting with daycare operators also.

He said the new police presence in the schools would become a permanent part of the department’s policies and procedures going forward. He said the officers will be another set of eyes and ears in the schools, meet with principals, teachers and custodial staff and will support the work of the School Resource Officers assigned to the four high schools and Felix Festa Middle School. 

The announcement made at a press conference on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy in that was also attended by Clarkstown School District Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton, Albertus Magnus High School Principal Joe Troy, David Kirschtel, CEO of the Rockland JCC, who represented the Rockland Jewish Academy, and Clarkstown Councilmembers Shirley Lasker, Frank Borelli and George Hoehmann.  

The administrators praised the initiative.

“They’ve already shown their presence in our school,” said Troy. “Two or three officers have already walked through our school since we met.”

Dr. Morton said, “There is full support of this concept.”

Troy said he appreciated the increased presence. On September 26, the Clarkstown Police held a lockdown drill at Albertus Magnus High School with a scenario involving an armed intruder and teachers taking the roles of students.  Troy, who was “shot” by the intruder, said the drill had an impact.

“It was a very, very effective drill,” he commented.  “It scared me significantly.”

Orangetown Police will be implementing a similar program that increases the police presence in the schools. 


Robin Traum January 16, 2013 at 03:29 PM
MomOfTwo Orangetown is implementing a similar safety program. Here's a link to the article about it http://patch.com/A-1fgF Robin
MomOfTwo January 16, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I stand corrected....let's just hope they actually follow through with what they are telling the press...I hope you (and the article) are correct and this isn't just to save face.
Deejay January 16, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Outstanding idea! Refreshing to see common sense solutions to problems.
stephany January 16, 2013 at 04:56 PM
no argument there, just asking why it was not done before, and i don't exactly know what i said that you are replying to. wouldn't it have been cost efficient 3 yrs ago and wouldn't it have been proactive 5 yrs ago. i mean what has changed or happened in ctown to make this change now vs 5 yrs ago. would it not have been proactive to initiate this plan after columbine or do we need to see at least one mass killing in the area to make a difference. this is clearly in response [reactive] to the Newtown tragedy.. what is the difference between tragedies that made them "react" to this one vs all the others --proximity. and if they did not incorporate the stops after the numerous school shootings before newtown how are they being proactive vs reacting to newtown. it is only proactive because nothing happened here yet, and that is not their fault when i see things like this ""There’s no additional cost at this time" i wonder just how cost efficient it will be in the future, which was my point that you missed the time is now to ask why that statement was added. has anyone suggested in any way that the patrolling of schools will at some time in the future require added taxpayer funds and if so why.
stephany January 16, 2013 at 06:01 PM
and if someone wants to say that i said or think this is not a good thing please quote me. better late than never is what i see, and by late i mean later than they should have not late after something happened. it is also an unqualified no brainer probably prompted in part by the legal dept to mitigate any circumstances If something happened and the lawsuits started piling up. and to all that think it isn't a no brainer that should never add to the bottom line ask your self if you could have come up with it or something very similar,maybe better, on your own the answer should be yes. again this is not a bad thing


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »