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Community Safety Initiative aims to help schools and municipalities in Oswego County

Payne Horning
County Legislature Chairman Shane Broadwell, left, who established the initiative

As part of a new county-wide initiative, Oswego County leaders will be meeting within the coming weeks to discuss how they can improve safety at local schools and municipalities through education, training, and guidance.

Oswego County legislator Terry Wilbur says the idea for the Community Safety Initiative developed from meetings between county officials about the threat of mass shootings, especially those at schools. Wilbur says they realized many schools and municipalities in Oswego County had little emergency training—training that could be provided by county agencies like the sheriff's department.

"There's a lot of things that we're already doing out there, and talking with the agencies, and... we're thinking, well. Our schools, they may need a little help here,” Wilbur said. “And not only our schools, our municipalities. I mean, you take a town hall like ours...how much training do they have? We could provide training to them."

County undersheriff Gene Sullivan, who is on the committee, says he thinks the initiative will also provide a way for different agencies in the county to better streamline their services in an emergency.

"Originally, it was... everybody was kinda doing their own thing. It just wasn't coordinated,” Sullivan said. “Sometimes one hand really needs to know what the other hand is doing, and I feel very positive that this is going to provide exactly that opportunity."

Wilbur says the initiative could also allow the county to receive grants to further their safety-improving efforts. Onondaga County has also established a task force to help schools address similar concerns.