AMHERST, N.Y. — Amherst Police and local school districts within the department's jurisdiction have been teaming up for years to try and identify threats.
This week the Secret Service released a report that told schools what they should do to help prevent school shootings. Among the suggestions is creating a threat assessment team, but that's something they've been doing in Amherst for many years — since the deadly shooting at Columbine.
The team includes teachers and faculty, coaches and other school personnel.
"They vet their concerns based on information they internally receive or externally. If it rises to a level even close to a criminal behavior or safety concern, they are in contact with us, our special victims unit. They have a relationship with the schools and they go out and vet these things. We go out to the homes and speak with the parents. We tell them our concerns and ask for their assistance in vetting the situation the severity of the situation and then we report back to the schools," said McNamara.
Amherst Police Captain James McNamara said the reports and recommendations are a good reminder for schools and police departments to be proactive and have policies in place.
Amherst Police have grown their relationship with the Amherst Central School, Williamsville, and Sweet Home districts for many years.
More officers serve as liaisons and regularly visit the schools. They hold four lockdown drills each year and advise schools on what they can do to increase security.