Dutchess BOCES continues to follow and go beyond the state mandates to keep its students, staff and visitors safe as part of an ongoing improvement process.

“As we learn, we institute more safety measures, which will improve campus security,” said Dr. Norah Merritt, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Dutchess BOCES.

Inspecting a security camera at CTIOne change the Office of Human Resources started this year was to offer a HR Safety Mini-Series for all employees.  The series included notice of agency wide safety committee meetings, greeter training for front office clerical, CPR and A.E.D. training, an S.H.E.L.L. protocol refresher, opioid overdose prevention training and a cybersecurity refresher. There is CPR and A.E.D. training on April 14, S.H.E.L.L. protocol refresher on April 22 and cybersecurity refresher on May 13. RSVP with Renee Gremillot at renee.gremillot@dcboces.org or ext. 2271.

“This is the first year we’ve done the mini-series for safety,” said Merritt. “It’s been well received. We’ll take that data at the end of the year, we’ll look at it, and we’ll say did it work, can we improve it, do we need something different, make the adjustments and offer the program again for next year.”

In addition to the series, Dutchess BOCES employees will soon be made aware of a new

 program, called Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.  This is a law mandate by Gov Hochul, after the state announced earlier this year the expansion of the existing Workplace Violence

Installation of wiring for a security camera at CTI

 Protection Law to include elementary and secondary public education facilities. The law requires employers to perform a risk evaluation of the workplace; provide employees with information and training; establish and implement a system for employees to report workplace violence incidents; and develop, maintain and review annually a workplace violence incident report.

“I believe we have a very safe community in our one campus,” said Merritt. “We are doing or are planning to do all the things that we can do to prevent violence in our workplace including the most recent mandate from Gov. Hochul in the workplace violence prevention program.”

In addition, the district installed over 100 indoor and outdoor security cameras around campus; added informational screens in the main lobbies of campus buildings; and is adding a new speaker system. A school resource officer was added to the team, to assist in improving campus safety.

“Unfortunately events across the nation have made it pretty obvious to school systems that safety is paramount,” said Merritt. “It isn’t secondary, we have to work in a safe environment, and I believe there are many different agencies helping address that safety mandate and we are in lockstep with all those safety mandates.”