Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools Releases the results from a freedom of information law request regarding police response time to schools located in the Saratoga Springs School District
For Immediate Release: December 14, 2018
Saratoga Springs, NY – As a result of a freedom of information law request to the City of Saratoga Springs Police Department, Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools discovered that the average police response time for all non-police-initiated calls during the past year to the schools inside the city of Saratoga Springs is 7.7 minutes.
Additional information demonstrated a large inequity in the number of school checks conducted at schools within the city’s jurisdiction.
“Prior to the board’s decision to remove the armed grounds monitors, response time was immediate because the schools had trained, active-duty and retired law enforcement personnel on site to intervene. Now the response time is significantly greater, and that is completely unacceptable” said group organizer Kara Rosettie.
“When seconds count, the police are on average 462 seconds away. The community doesn’t understand how the school board, that claims to have thoroughly researched the topic, could willfully make a decision to increase response time, and as a result put our children at greater risk,” said Rosettie.
In the time period from November 2017 to November 2018, the number of school checks conducted at city schools varied. A school check is defined as a police officer driving the perimeter of a school and/or going into the facility and speaking with school personnel.
The breakdown of checks by school are as follows:·
Saratoga Springs High School - 243
Lake Avenue Elementary– 101
Caroline Street Elementary – 83
Division Street Elementary – 83
Geyser Road Elementary– 60
“The results demonstrate the inequality in security between our schools. We are thankful that the police department does regular school checks, but as the data demonstrates, the police cannot be everywhere all the time. You can see why the parents and community-at-large is so upset. We went from security being present
on campus 100% of the school year, to just 34% in some instances,” Rosettie concluded.
The group is also collecting response time information from the Saratoga County Sheriffs Department for Greenfield Elementary, Maple Avenue Middle School, and Dorothy Nolan Elementary. It is anticipated that the average response time to those schools will be significantly greater than 7.7 minutes.