Police Officers on Duty in Washingtonville for First Day of School
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Superintendent of Washingtonville Schools Roy Reese, along with New Windsor Police Chief Rob Doss and Chief of Staff of the Town of New Windsor Colin Schmitt, announced Sept. 4 that all Washingtonville school buildings will have armed uniformed officers at each location starting Sept. 5, for the full duration of each school day.
The announcement was made outside of Little Britain Elementary School, the one school in the Washingtonville district located outside of the Town of Blooming Grove. Superintendent of Operations Paul Nienstadt and Little Britain Principal Sagrario Rudecindo-O’Neill were also present, as were members of the Washingtonville Board of Education.
The logistics of coordinating formal contracts between the New Windsor, Blooming Grove, and Washingtonville Police Departments were formidable, said Superintendent Reese. But, he said, everyone worked together, and everything is in place for the children on the first day. The finances are budgeted, and every penny is worth it for the safety and security of the children, he said.
New Windsor Police Chief Doss, himself a Washingtonville grad who attended Little Britain Elementary, said, “All the students, staff, and parents will feel comfort in having a uniformed police officer in the schools.” Regarding the New Windsor officer at Little Britain, he said, “He is an 11-year veteran of the department, a father of three, has advanced training in juvenile situations, AED and first aid training, and is prepared for any emergency, with a response time of mere seconds. The school will be a safer place because of his training.”
Doss explained that all the officers in the elementary schools and middle school are not SROs. SROs get into more counseling and interaction with the kids, he said. While the officer at Little Britain will obviously interact with the children in a positive way, “Police officers do not necessarily play the SRO role,” he said. There will be an SRO at the high school, Reese has earlier stated.