Keeping children safe from harm is a parent’s number-one priority, and the City of Glen Cove, in coordination with the school district, has been doing its part to ensure the safety of the students, as well as the entire community.
“We are confident we are doing and have done as much as we can do,” said Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton.
In response to the school shooting in Newtown, CT, the city and the school district took immediate action to secure the schools and assess the security procedures currently in place to see what could be improved. Part of that assessment came in the form of police training at the high school over the winter break.
According to Det. Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department, the police practiced handling various scenarios regarding possible school violence.
Drills are not a new action for the police department, however. Chief Whitton said that the department has been drilling in schools for active shooter response for the past 7-8 years and that the officers are very familiar with the layouts of the school.
He said the community support for their security drills was not as strong in the beginning, adding, “It’s a different world we live in now, with different attitudes.”
In early January, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Laria, Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi, Chief Whitton, the district’s head of security and a representative from BOCES met to discuss what could be done to improve security.
Mayor Suozzi described it as a brainstorming session, going over such issues as who has the authority to take charge in various situations, and how to best “secure our most valuable asset.”
“We are actively engaged and will continue to improve security until we feel satisfied we have reached a level attainable, given the economic resources,” said Mayor Suozzi.
After the meeting, the school district developed a three-pronged strategic plan that pertains to prevention, deterrence, and preparedness and response. Dr. Laria sent an email directing principals to take specific actions to improve security in the schools.
“As we develop a strategic action plan based upon a comprehensive needs assessment, the implementation of the foregoing 12 actions is essential to provide a safer and more secure school environment,” Dr. Laria said in the email.
The actions included:
-Reviewing and implementing the district-wide school safety plan.
-Examining the school’s red bag contents regularly.
-Arranging six lockdown drills every school year.
-Locking classroom doors.
-Formulating a confidential plan to identify students with atypical behavioral tendencies.
-Tightening building entry security.
-Communicating with the GCPD and maintaining regular contact with retired Sgt. Jack McDougal, who was hired by the mayor to act as the liaison between the schools and the police.
-Reaching out to the school district’s safety coordinator.
-Improving school-perimeter security and having a police presence on the grounds.
-Identifying ways to better target-harden the schools.
-Cooperating with the security needs assessment.
-Notifying the superintendent of any untoward incident.
“We’re always proactive regardless of the actions,” said Chief Whitton. “It’s part of our routine patrol strategy to patrol places of worship and schools, any place sensitive to acts of violence. But we have stepped up patrol of the schools.”
He noted that the police department has a good relationship with the schools due in part to participation in the PRIDE program and After 3, and he said that about 12 officers are mentors to students. Because of the relationship, the police have developed an “inroad” to the school population.
“They view us differently than they might otherwise—they look up to us,” Whitton said of the students.
Whitton said it is incumbent on the schools to identify students with behavioral issues. While they feel that no one in Glen Cove has risen to the level of being able to commit a serious action, the schools are always on the lookout for alarming behavior, and will interview the student in question.
“Everyone needs to have their eyes and ears open; if something doesn’t look right, you have to say something.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Children at Gribbin Elementary
School prepared for Thanksgiving last week by singing songs, writing what they were thankful for on the table cloths, and making a poster of what they are thankful for.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
Visitors to Nassau County’s Garvies Point Museum and Preserve were transported back in time on Nov. 23 and 24 when the museum held its Annual Thanksgiving Native American Feast. More than 1,000 people attended the two-day event, which showcased the lives of Native Americans. Numerous hands-on activities gave participants the opportunity to try their luck at spear throwing, corn grinding, cooking over an open fire and pottery making.
The feast was the perfect outing for several Cub Scout troops and group home organizations as well as for families from across Long Island. For Sea Cliff siblings Zeke and Uma it was a special day at a place they visit often and have strong ties to. Their grandfather had been one of the museum’s early volunteers. For the Ferrera family of Islip it was a new adventure. Renee Ferrera is a social studies teacher who had taken her classes on trips to Garvies in the past and always enjoyed it.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With grit, determination and all-out teamwork, the Friends Academy Boys Varsity Soccer team completed their quest for a third state soccer championship, defeating a tough Lansing High School, 1-0, in the New York Class C State Championships.
Both teams kept the game at a tight 0-0, until 20 minutes into the second half, when a throw-in from senior Patrick Moodhe (Manhasset) connected with the head of senior Jon Nierenberg (Sands Point) for the game’s only goal.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
It has been an amazing season for the Midget Cardinals team in Glen Cove. Undefeated all season, they are headed to the Super Bowl, where they will be playing against Brentwood for the Championship.
On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Cardinals Midget team won the coin toss and got to play the final playoff game of the season at home. Fans were out and cheering them on as they played Roosevelt - the other undefeated team in the league.