POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – With the first day of school only a few weeks away, the Pound Ridge Police Department is gearing up and working closely with the Pound Ridge Elementary School to get ready.

“We work closely with the Safety Committee and discuss issues that may come along,” said Police Chief David Ryan.

Ryan said his department had a close working relationship with former elementary school principal Peter Politi, who retired in July. He said he’s forging the same alliance with new interim principal Tim Gembka.

“We sat down with the new principal,” Ryan said. “We have dedicated a lot of time because, you never know, something could happen tomorrow. He needs to understand how lockouts work, how evacuations works – it’s a very comprehensive plan.”

Ryan said Assistant Elementary School Principal Carol Bauman is well versed in the school’s myriad emergency plans and will provide vital assistance to the new principal.

“I’m sure he’ll be heavily reliant on her,” he said.                     

Ryan said he plans to meet with Gembka at least one more time before school starts.

Logistically, the police will provide traffic control around the school – particularly at the beginning and end of the day – and generally increase their presence in the area.

“We need to remind people that school is back open and sometimes just our presence there will do that,” he said. “The school is located at the intersection of two state highways and there’s been studies done that show there is a very high volume of traffic there. Our visibility alone will slow traffic down.”

Ryan also said the department will perform checkpoints in the area during the first few days of school, similar to when police check for proper registration and inspection. However, the checkpoints will be used primarily to remind motorists that school is back in session.

“Sometimes we’ll even hand out fliers,” he said.

The department will also perform its annual hanging of the “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” posters provided by AAA.

“We hang them on the telephone poles,” Ryan said. “Those posters have been used for as long as I can remember – 30 or 40 years.”


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