Historically, our schools have been relatively safe havens from violence and other social forces that affect our children’s sense of safety and security. However, recently law enforcement agencies have had to assume a greater role in helping school officials ensure the safety of all those occupying their educational facilities.
Recognizing that the safety our county’s students, school faculty and staff members is paramount, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was the first law enforcement agency to introduce the School Resource Officer (S.R.O.) Program to New York State. Since 1996, highly trained uniformed deputy sheriffs have been assigned to middle, junior and senior high schools, as well as, one elementary school in Putnam County. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office S.R.O. is a certified law enforcement officer who is assigned full-time to a school. For this, the S.R.O. receives many hours of specialized training after undergoing a lengthy screening process. This program mirrors the “officer on foot patrol” in that the S.R.O. knows the public he or she serves on a first name basis and is sensitive to their particular needs.
The S.R.O. is an educator, law enforcer and counselor. As an educator, the S.R.O. visits classrooms and teaches students concepts of safety, traffic laws, general law, and crime prevention techniques. The S.R.O. works closely with individual teachers to create special programs tailored to specific units of study. These presentations help increase student awareness and understanding of laws and personal safety. As a uniformed police officer, the S.R.O. provides a positive image of law enforcement in an effort to help young people make constructive choices in their lives.
The S.R.O.’s primary duty is to protect the school’s safe environment and to maintain an atmosphere where students, teachers and staff feel safe enough to learn. The S.R.O. investigates criminal activity occurring on school campuses. Although not a disciplinarian, the S.R.O. conducts investigations with school administrators in accordance with New York State Law, school district policy, and the policy of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. The S.R.O. only takes action when a violation of law has occurred. To report potential school violence, call the Youth and Community Services Hot Line at (845) 225-4300. All calls are kept confidential.
The School Resource Officer acts as a counselor. Many students come forward to discuss issues with the S.R.O. In fact, students are encouraged to seek individual attention from the School Resource Officer. The deputy coordinates his/her activities with administrators and staff members. The officer is available for conferences with students, parents, and staff regarding law related issues or problems.
School Resource Officers
Sergeant Michael Szabo - S.R.O. Supervisor
(845) 225-4300 Ext. 42209
Michael Schmidt - Community Services
(845) 225-4300 Ext. 42385
S.R.O. Deputy Michael Varley - Carmel High School
(845) 225-8441 Ext. 600
S.R.O. Deputy Claire Pierson - George Fischer Middle School
(845) 228-2300 Ext. 549
S.R.O. Deputy Matthew Kraisky - Brewster High School
(845) 279-5051 Ext. 1170
S.R.O. Deputy Michael Neuner - Henry H. Wells Middle School
(845) 279-3702 Ext. 2139
S.R.O. Deputy Charles Johnson - JFK Elementary School (Brewster)
(845) 279-2087 Ext. 4127
S.R.O. Deputy Ryan Diskin - Mahopac High School
(845) 628-3256 Ext. 11990
S.R.O. Deputy Thomas Lewis - Mahopac Middle School
(845) 621-1330 Ext. 12990
S.R.O. Deputy Corinne Pitt - Putnam Valley High School
(845) 526-7847 Ext. 1386
S.R.O. Deputy Paul Piazza - Haldane Central Schools
(845) 265-9254 Ext. 158