Increased security in and around schools

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) – Many police departments in Western New York have increased patrols in and around schools to bolster security following the horrific shooting at a Texas school.

Some agencies say it will be extended until the end of the school year.

Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted Wednesday morning that the state had called an emergency meeting with the New York State Police “to make sure” they were doing “everything possible to protect our schools.”


Tweet from Governor Kathy Hochul.

“State Police will increase patrols and conduct daily checks at schools starting today through the end of the school year,” Hochul wrote.

Buffalo Public Schools released a statement for a new safety policy effective immediately.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority! After the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas, anyone wishing to enter a school MUST call ahead and obtain prior permission to enter the building. This includes parents, caregivers, siblings and vendors; No exception will be made. For everyone’s safety, the doors of each of our schools will remain closed during the school day. There are camera monitors at the main entrance to each of our school sites. All visitors, parents and caregivers will be required to announce their name and the name of their child to be invited to enter a school. Upon entry, visitors may be subject to a wand and/or search process for security measures. The Buffalo Police Department and/or Buffalo Public Schools security personnel will be present in and around the schools for an indefinite period. At this time, end of year ceremonies are planned with all additional security protocols in place. We deeply appreciate your understanding to keep everyone safe. Thank you.”

In the City of Niagara Falls School District, Niagara Falls Police Constable Tyler Howard is now patrolling inside Cataract Elementary School for extra protection.

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Niagara Falls Police Officer Tyler Howard inside the Niagara Falls school.

“I think you have to stay alert and always train for the worst-case scenario and prepare for the worst-case scenario and pray for the best,” remarked Bryan Dalporto, chief safety officer, Niagara Falls City School District.

Dalporto says the best thing schools can do is make sure they pay attention to student safety and security every day.

The school district already limits public access to its buildings.

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Bryan Dalporto, Chief Security Officer, Niagara Falls City School District.

Even if you are a relative, you cannot enter the building unannounced. You must let them know in advance that you are picking up your child. You must also wait in your vehicle to pick up a child.

“Really no one – unless they have an appointment with pre-clearance is allowed in the schools, so we have a member of staff or the security people or someone from the staff who meet them at the front door or talk to them – find out what they need to do,” Dalporto explained.

District and school leaders work together with the police department to maintain a good safety plan.

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Katharine Sirianni-Morock, school social worker

“They know the doors are locked – that people have to come into the schools – they know that – I’m teaching them it’s a safe place,” Katharine Sirianni-Morock replied.

Sirianni-Morock is the school’s social worker and also a mother of three children who attend the school. Two of his children are the same age as the children murdered at their school in Texas on Tuesday.

“It was very difficult for me to process because I kept telling my husband it was Lugar and Eli – it’s their age – my two youngest – so it was difficult,” said Sirianni-Morock.



Students in a second class.

The social worker says she tries to keep things as normal as possible for her children and students.

Cataract Director Stan Wojton tells me the district is doing everything it can to keep students safe in the classroom.

“Do you feel safe? Buckley asked.

“Absolutely – no questions asked – I feel safe here for myself for our staff for our students – I have three children who attend Niagara Falls schools and without a doubt – I feel absolutely safe,” replied Wojton.



Cataract director Stan Wojton.

And when students go out for recess, protocols are in place.

“When we leave the building to use our playground or our outdoor play areas, we have implemented that we must have our radio and our communication – where our main office knows where all staff and students are. at any time”, Wojton.

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