Dutchess Sheriff works to keep schools safe ahead of children returning

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POUGHKEEPSIE – With school beginning in less than two weeks throughout the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County Sheriff Kirk Imperati is working to keep children safe in their schools.  Imperati has increased the number of School Resource Officers (SROs) in his department to 12 deputies.

Imperati is the architect of the state-recognized Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office SRO program, established in 2000.  “Twenty-two years later I continue our long-standing commitment to working closely with our school communities to create a safe school environment,” said Sheriff Imperati.

Earlier this month the sheriff’s office  conducted the State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ “Basic School Resource Officer” course.  As a result of the training, 20 new SROs from 10 different police agencies are prepared to be deployed in various schools this September.

“You and your family’s safety is always a priority of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and is a priority of mine,” Imperati told Mid-Hudson News.  “I want to put your minds at ease.  Besides being home, being at school is the safest place a child can be, and that’s our priority.”

Imperati noted that it takes more than an SRO to keep schools safe.  The sheriff called it a collaborative effort that requires the participation of law enforcement, school districts, communities, and families must work together to keep schools safe.

For the 2022-2023 school year, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office will have 12 SROs deployed in seven school districts, including a new agreement with the Wappingers Central School District.

DCSO deputies will be working in the following districts:

  • Arlington Central School District will have three deputies; one for the high school, one for the middle schools, and one for the elementary schools.
  • BOCES will have one deputy at the Salt Point Turnpike campus.
  • Dover Union Free School District will have one deputy for the district.
  • Pawling Central School District will have one deputy for the district.
  • Pine Plains Central School District will have one deputy for the district.
  • Wappingers Central School District will have one deputy at Wappingers Junior High School and one deputy at Roy C. Ketcham High School.
  • Webutuck Central School District will have one deputy for the district.