Prepared to Protect

Cartoon by Stefanie Diers.

In the nation we live in, it has unfortunately become a regular occurrence to turn on the news and hear of yet another school shooting. In the past six months, the death count credited to shootings at public universities alone has risen to 17.

With more and more of these incidents happening on public college campuses like ours, we at The New Paltz Oracle are thankful to hear that the number of officers involved in January’s active shooter training at SUNY New Paltz was the highest it has been in years.

Last month’s training, our own University Police Department (UPD) and the New Paltz Police Department along with some officers from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Troopers, Town of Lloyd Police Department and Town of Rosendale Police Department came together to simulate plans of action in a shooter situation.

On our campus, we are equipped with a police force of 23 officers, along with the nearby New Paltz Police Department that has worked closely with our own department on multiple occasions. We have no doubt that the two would come together at a time of crisis to safely defuse the situation and protect the community.

Outside of the SUNY New Paltz campus, multiple schools for grades K-12 exist in the area. If an incident took place at any educational establishment in New Paltz, or anywhere in the town for that matter, we are glad that our law enforcement is trained across the board in these protocols.

Furthermore, we find it important to mention that our college offers virtual training for immediate action upon encountering a shooter situation on campus. As a staff, we came upon this online training just this week. After looking through it and watching the instructional video, we strongly encourage everyone to take a few minutes and educate yourself. Hey, it could save your life. This guide can be found at

In the video, our police chief details a few simple tips that may prove effective if confronted with an active shooter. First and foremost, protect yourself. If you can run and get out then do it. If you can’t, find somewhere to hide and lock yourself inside a room if possible. As a last resort, fight back. And as soon as possible, call 911.

We appreciate that our local law enforcement officers take the initiative to stay up to date on procedures that keep themselves ready for anything through routine training. Let us.hope they never have to use it.

Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.