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Majority Leader Lorigo joins officials in announcing new SRO at Holland High School


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

As I sit here enjoying the unseasonably warm fall we’re having, I can’t help but reflect on the last year.  Since the 2016 presidential campaign, it feels like the people in this country have...

On October 11, Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, Chairman of the Legislature's Finance and Management Committee, joined Henry Wojtaszek, President/CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming, Thurman Thomas, Hall of Fame former...

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Legislator Lorigo  joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Legislator Ted Morton Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam...

Legislator Lorigo  joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Legislator Ted Morton Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.

“With a new school year underway, it is important to acknowledge the critical role law enforcement is playing in some of our schools,” Gallivan said. “As a former state trooper and Erie County Sheriff, I believe strongly in the SRO program as a way to ensure safety in our schools and build a positive relationship between officers and students. I’m pleased to see the program is not only continuing, but expanding.”

Senator Gallivan secured $110,000 for the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in this year’s state budget to support the SRO program. The funding allows the Sheriff’s Office to assign an additional deputy to the program.

“I want to thank Senator Gallivan for his efforts in securing funding for two School Resource Officers,” said Sheriff Howard. “For the past few years, my office had one Deputy dedicated as an SRO for all of these school districts, but today I am very pleased to say we can better serve these schools and communities with an additional SRO. These Deputies act as mentors, counselors and educators and can explain to the students about the devastating effects of substance abuse and addiction as well as be a trusted adult when they need help with a school or home problem,”

Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Vogl will serve as an SRO in the Alden and Holland school districts while Deputy Frank Simmeth will work in North Collins and Springville schools. In the past, Deputy Vogl covered all four districts.

“Thanks to this partnership, we can place another SRO into these rural districts,” said Legislature Majority Leader Lorigo. “The role that SROs play in our schools is incredibly important, and in order to be successful they need to form relationships with the students and staff they are working with. This cannot be accomplished if they are assigned to four districts. Adding an SRO for Holland and Alden will make a significant difference during this school year and help build on the success that the Sheriff’s Office has seen through the SRO program. This is a perfect use for grant funding, and I am happy to support this partnership.”

SRO’s work closely with school administrators, faculty and staff on school safety plans and assist in required safety audits of all school buildings. They also visit classrooms and coordinate with teachers to present information on internet and social media safety, drug and alcohol abuse, heroin and opioid use and personal safety tips.

“We continue to be incredibly grateful with the advocacy efforts of our local and New York State elected officials on behalf of the Alden and Holland Central School Districts,” said Fabiatos and Stoltman in a joint statement. “Senator Gallivan’s efforts in securing this SRO grant a few years ago has allowed our district and community to experience first-hand the benefits of such a position and we look forward to the programmatic changes the additional time will yield. Partnering on this venture will allow us to learn from one another in hopes of strengthening the role of law enforcement agencies in each of our communities,”