The Orangetown Police Department will join with the Center for Safety & Change and other local organizations in a grant and assistance program to prevent violence against the young.
The Orangetown Town Board voted unanimously to approve the Orangetown Police Department's involvement at Tuesday night's workshop. The application for a three-year grant from the Office of Violence Against Women is due next week, so the decision could not wait for the town board meeting Oct. 23.
The , will be working with the Orangetown Police, South Orangetown School District, Haverstraw Center, VCS, Inc. and CANDLE (Community Awareness Network for a Drug-Free Life and Environment) on the youth violence prevention program.
"We are applying for a federal grant from the Office of Violence Against Women for a youth violence prevention program," said Carolyn Fish of the Center for Safety & Change. "We want to partner with the Orangetown Police Department as well as the (South) Orangetown School District and three other non-for-profit agencies to develop an array of programs that will inform people about teen dating violence and sexual assault against the teen and youth population."
The Orangetown Police and South Orangetown School District would receive no money from the grant, but there would be other benefits, including training for Orangetown Police officers.
"We will assist police in identifying teens who are victims of domestic abuse and teen dating violence," Fish said.
"I look at this as an opportunity for the department to work on some thing sin our local schools, which is worthwhile and really part of our mission," Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty said. "It's stopping violence against women, domestic violence, sexual assault. Bullying is part of it.
"As we lose officers in the schools, I think we need to look at new way to develop programs to encourage kids not to behave inappropriately. They are going to train our youth officers. I don't think there is any impact on us but a positive one."
Councilman Denis Troy asked if the South Orangetown Schools have signed off on the program. Fish, who has primarily dealt with Athletic Director Liam Frawley, said she has been told that they support it. She was also asked why the South Orangetown School District is involved, but Pearl River is not.
"We have a history of doing joint projects with the (South) Orangetown School District because of Liam's interest," Fish said. "We've been in the high school many, many years. We are also in Pearl River High School, but for the purposes of the grant, we are working with one school district, which is why we chose South Orangetown. We will be more than happy to expand this to Pearl River."