Nassau PD seeks to quicken response time to schools

In the wake of shootings at schools around the country, authorities on Long Island are announcing changes to security measures at schools.

"We are collaborating so that we can be as quick and responsive as possible in any emergency involving a school," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at an announcement on Tuesday.

The top brass of the Nassau County Police Department announced a new program to enhance coordination and communication in the event of an active shooter situation.

"FBI statistics—since 2000, 70 percent of school shootings end in five minutes; 52 percent of that 70 percent are done in two minutes," Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. "In Nassau County, our response time to violent crimes in progress is three minutes to five minutes."

The police department is looking to improve response time and educate all school personnel on active shooter drills. In addition, two officers from the Nassau County Homeland Security Office will work with local police, school officials, and parents at no extra cost to taxpayers.

"We need to mitigate that time," Ryder said. "We need to slow down the defendant and we need to increase the response by the cop."

Added security also includes mandating all officers to visit at least one school building every day. The goal is to become more familiar with where to go in case of an emergency.

"We're going to do it with the superintendents and with our village police departments," Ryder said. "So they are also aware and we're working hand-in-hand as we always do."

Carle Place Superintendent David Flatley said he applauds the additional resources.

"We've always had excellent relationships with the Nassau County Police Department and our public schools," Flatley said. "But it's time, I suppose, for an added layer of security and that's what this, I believe, will be for us."

More than half of the county's 56 school districts have already adopted a smartphone-based emergency alert system. Through the app, school officials can quickly grant police access to important intelligence, including real-time security cameras in an active shooter scenario.