RCSD preparing security measures for start of school

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Students in the Rochester City School District are getting ready to head back to school but what’s being done to ensure they get there safely and feel secure throughout the day? 

The main concern of Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and RCSD Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso at this point, is the trip kids have to take to and from school. There has been an increase in the number of people who’ve been hit by a car in the City of Rochester. In the last two years, 200 people either walking or riding a bike have been hit, 14 of them killed. In 77 of the cases, the driver left the scene before investigators got there according to the Rochester Police Department. 

“We’ve got the new electric scooters all over the city, we’ve seen several collisions already over the summer since that program started and as we go through those collisions, several have been hit-and-runs, several have been caught on video and the vast majority of them have been caused by the car, not the scooter rider,” warns RPD Lt. Greg Bello.

There’s also the risk of those behind the wheel who shouldn’t be there.

“Last year, if you remember we saw a bunch of cars, Franklin (high school) was one, Monroe (high school) was another one where we saw kids driving recklessly, coming in driving their cars on there (front lawns) so, that is another added layer that we have to deal with,” says Mayor Evans.

The Rochester City School District has invested $7 million in infrastructure upgrades that it is hoping will make things safer.

“You’ll start to see some concrete barriers, gates, fencing that we’ll put in over time to kind of fortify and strengthen the campus(es) to make sure they are safe and students are safe while they’re on school grounds,” says Dr. Peluso. 

There will also be an RPD presence at some schools during arrival and dismissal.

“If we find an area that seems to be a little bit more, that is receiving a few more incidents, we’ll move cars around but we’ll protect with fivecars usually mostly at our secondary campuses,” Dr. Peluso explains. 

When it comes to safety inside the schools:

“You know we invested in a significant increase in pay for our safety and security officers to ensure we have the right people in our schools with our children,” Dr. Peluso says, “and we are completely staffed.”

Mayor Evans also explained that the City and RCSD have partnered to expand the “Pathways to Peace” program inside the schools.

“We have a very robust school-based program,” he says. 

School starts for RCSD students on Wednesday.