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Ulster officials okay contracts to put police in schools

May 11, 2021 2:45 pm

Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman the Ulster County Legislature's Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee last week authorized contracts that will place county sheriff's deputies in two school districts and Ulster County BOCES. If approved by the Legislature's Ways and Means Committee this week, the resolutions will be voted on by the full Legislature on May 18. The contracts would authorize the Sheriff's Office to assign deputy sheriffs to the Onteora School District, the Rondout School District and Ulster County BOCES during the 2021-22 school year. The requests come at a time when concerns are being raised in various communities about the presence of police officers in the schools and how that policy contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline. The Ulster County Criminal Justice and Reform Commission recommended earlier this year that the Sheriff's Office either stop providing deputies to schools or that the school resource officer program be revamped to ensure that the officers were not used for discipline. Sheriff Juan Figueroa said he understands the concerns, particularly of inner-city schools, that having armed officers in the schools raise. He said school resource officers are trained in the best practices of working in schools as resource officers. "These SROs are different," said Figueroa. "They are respected by their schools, they're respected by the kids in the schools. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

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