BATH, N.Y. (WETM) — The Steuben County Legislature has passed the Steuben County Safe Schools Initiative 2022, which will dedicate a $110,000 fund to prevent and effectively respond to school shooting threats throughout the County.
The vote passed 16-1 on Monday, September 26, 2022, and was drafted by the Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker and Steuben County Sheriff James Allard. The $110,000 fund will be taken from the proceeds of the District Attorney’s Traffic Diversion Program and is set to provide state-of-the-art equipment and nationally recognized best practices in training School Resources Officers in Stuben County.
The single vote against the Initiative came from Legislator Steven Maio (D., City of Corning). Maio was sentenced to a three-year term of probation on the misdemeanor charge of Solicitation of a Person for Prostitution in August of 2022.
In the official release, DA Baker says that the initiative will come at zero cost to Steuben County taxpayers, as the funding comes from revenue generated by the DA Office’s Traffic Diversion Program, funds that are already earmarked for law enforcement enhancement.
DA Brooks Baker said that the tragic shooting in Uvalde provided motivation for the creation of the initiative, “Almost immediately after the heartbreaking event, the sheriff and I got together and started talking about what we could do right now to absolutely minimize the risk of this happening here and maximize the safety of the children of Steuben County,”.
The Initiative gained the support of School Superintendents across Steuben County, as well as a unanimous vote of the Steuben County Chiefs of Police Association, according to Allard and Baker.