YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown Police Department will maintain its presence at all 12 Yorktown, Lakeland and parochial schools as long as needed to make students and staff feel safe, said Police Chief Daniel McMahon.
“After learning of what transpired in Connecticut, the department reached out to all the school districts in Yorktown and we were able to have a police officer at every school at dismissal time,” McMahon said. “Not because there was any threat in Yorktown, but it was believed that to comfort and to have people feel re-assured that was the right thing to do.”
The department will continue to have a police officer at each of the schools on arrival and dismissal, McMahon said. Throughout the day, the department has increased police patrol at the schools, in and outside of the buildings.
“[Tuesday] we had a meeting with both school districts and a meeting with the parochial schools. We offered our services to them and they accepted,” McMahon said. “We will be working closely with them in the ensuing weeks to make sure that everything that is possible to do is being done to make sure that both students and faculty are safe when they go into that school.”
McMahon said the department has tried to balance making students feel safe while not worrying them with its presence. The districts, however, assured him that too much police presence would not be an issue.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t over-dramatizing what was occurring at the school districts and the two parochial schools. But they ensured us we can stay 24/7,” McMahon said. “They wanted us there and we will be there as much as possible.”
Council member Terrence Murphy commended McMahon and the department for taking the initiative. Murphy said his daughter’s fears of going to school went away Monday when they pulled up to school and saw police cruisers.
“As a parent of three young kids, I can’t thank you enough,” Murphy said.
McMahon said the department’s main concern will be with Yorktown’s elementary schools since the high schools and middle schools already have police presence through full-time student resource officers.