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INSIDE THE FLX: Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck on a unified approach to gun violence and school safety (podcast)

Our monthly visit with Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck focuses on the recent shooting incidents in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, and the lessons we can take from them.

He says gun control alone is not the answer, without looking at the mental health issues behind shooting incidents. The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department continues working with mental health agencies throughout the county to develop a mobile crisis response team, designed to de-escalate situations before a full law enforcement response is needed. The Sheriff says he fears the package of gun control bills recently signed by Governor Kathy Hochul will tie up law enforcement resources, forcing his agency to do things that will not necessarily be helpful.

The Sheriff’s Department continues to work with Cayuga County schools to improve safety. The Sheriff feels every school district should have at least one armed officer. The department is also working on a threat assessment program, to attempt to identify potential threats before they can become a reality. His officers undergo active shooter training each year and two Road Patrol Deputies recently completed hostage negotiator training. We talked about improving communication during active shooter situations.

We also talked about the department’s participation in Memorial Day parades, two openings for Road Patrol Deputies, and the recent drug take-back event at Playspace in Auburn.