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Archive Press Releases > 2006 Archives > September 2006 > MAYOR AND SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCE SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY PLAN

MAYOR AND SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCE SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY PLAN


Source/Contact
Office of the Mayor
Peter K. Culter
Director of Communications
716-851-4841

Joint plan takes in-depth approach to assure safety of staff and students
 
Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown and Superintendent James A. Williams today announced a comprehensive joint plan to address safety and security in the Buffalo Public Schools. Highlights of the plan include:
·        Creation of a Chief of School Safety - The city and school district will partner to hire a Chief of School Safety that will be a member of the Buffalo Police Department with the rank of Chief. This individual will completely integrate school safety planning, management and implementation with the Buffalo Police Department and the School District. The City and District will share the cost of this position for the first year and the District will assume all costs for the position in following years. Inspector Joseph Strano of the Buffalo Police Department will oversee the school safety initiative while a search is conducted for a permanent candidate. It is anticipated that this position will be in place by the end of September.
·        Establishment of a School Security Detail - Officers from the Buffalo Police Department’s Flex Unit will be detailed in neighborhoods around schools as determined by the Buffalo Public School District and supported by police intelligence. The Flex Unit officers will be present at arrival and dismissal times. They can also be quickly deployed in the event of any incident at these schools.
·        Expedited School Security Communications System - The Buffalo Public Schools and Buffalo Police Department will utilize a new, shared communications system to expedite police response to the schools when needed.


School Security
 
·        Introduction of School Resource Officers - Specially trained police officers will be assigned to schools as determined by the Buffalo Public Schools. These officers will provide gang and drug resistance education to students. The school resource officers will also provide an additional security presence in schools as needed. 
·        Removal of Blight Around Schools - The City will perform emergency demolitions, board-ups, lot cutting and dumping and graffiti removal in the neighborhoods adjacent to schools.
·        Expand School Grounds - The city will transfer adjacent city-owned land to the District as needed, when conditions warrant, enabling the District to expand parking and green space.
·        Banning Solid Red and Blue Tee Shirts and Bandanas – Blue and red are the colors of the two major gangs in Buffalo, the Bloods and the Crips. Students in grades 5 – 12 will be prohibited from wearing solid red or blue shirts and bandannas that identify them as gang members. 
 
“We know that neighborhood disputes carry over into schools,” Mayor Brown said. “We are taking these decisive steps to let our young people know that this will not be tolerated in or around school property. Instead, we will work with students to help focus their energy on their studies.”
The new Chief of School Safety position requires approval of the City Council and the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority (BFSA). In the interest of ensuring safe schools and promoting an atmosphere of learning and quality education, Mayor Brown and Superintendent Williams will ask both the City Council and the BFSA to expedite the creation of the new, permanent Chief of School Safety position.

“The safety and security of our students and staff are our top priority,” Dr. James A. Williams, said. “There are a very small number of disruptive individuals in our schools and this initiative sends a very clear message that we will not allow a few troublemakers to disrupt our primary mission, which is educating our children so that they can succeed in life.”

Commissioner Gipson added, “The men and women of the Buffalo Police Department are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to all of our citizens. This new position of Chief of School Safety is another example of the Buffalo Police Department’s determination to support the Mayor’s commitment to improving the quality of life for all Buffalo residents, most notably our children.”