GATES, NY (WROC) — Earlier this week, several schools in Gates had to follow lockout procedures after a knifepoint robbery and police chase. Police were searching for one of the suspects, and to keep students safe—were able to relay a message to area schools to hold fast.
Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode showed media Thursday a group of leaders in education and law enforcement, part of a larger team of 70, who keep in touch on things like youth arrests, fights at schools, and dangers to the community.
Vanbrederode says the knifepoint robbery and suspect search is a prime example. With multiple law enforcement agencies and schools in Gates, they were able to quickly follow lockout procedures.
Some of the leaders on Thursday from State Police, Greece Central Schools, even Monroe Community College — say they all talk frequently about concerning conflicts in schools and on social media, or arrests in the region that schools need to be aware of.
The administrator for Greece Schools says 98% of students are “amazing”, but it’s that 2% or so of troublemakers that schools and police sometimes need to be aware of.
Chief Vanbrederode says it’s about having solid relationships in place and having everyone on ‘speed dial’ when an emergency like Tuesday’s happens.
“It’s all about when something happens, to be able to call somebody, have that relationship already built, and then exchange information back and forth. You know, what are they hearing in school, sometimes they’ll tell us about a fight that’s going to occur after school, or if we hear of something going on. The whole communication process is important to keep everybody safe,” says Vanbrederode.
He also says it’s about working together and practicing often.
“A lot of this is just repetitive behavior, and training so that we remember to notify the school and in the middle of all the stuff that’s going on— like the other day we had a helicopter, we had dogs trying to find the kid. It literally went down right there on 531 which is right by near the school. But once we make that notification to the school, it’s off our plate, right? It’s perfect,” says Vanbrederode.
Gates police say the knifepoint robbery case is still under investigation.