The Onteora Central School District believes that establishing a safe and secure learning environment is fundamental to student learning and success. To that end, Onteora has partnered with the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office to place a School Resource Officer (SRO) within our schools.
Brandon Schiller, the District’s newly selected SRO, is no stranger to Onteora. Employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office for eight years, he has been based in the Town of Shandaken substation for the past five years. Because the Onteora School District was within his patrol area, he often came into contact with our students and staff.
“I have routinely conducted ‘walk throughs’ at all the schools within the Onteroa School District,” Deputy Schiller notes. “I have also been a part of various drills, including ‘lock down’ drills at every school, and I am familiar with the layout at each building.” On occasion, he adds, he has responded to situations within the school district that required police assistance.
Deputy Schiller brings a total of 13 years of law enforcement experience to Onteora. Prior to becoming a Deputy Sheriff, he was employed as a police officer with the Town of New Paltz for five years.
As Onteora’s School Resource Officer, Deputy Schiller’s duties will include: helping to mediate conflicts between students; advising the District on matters that involve law enforcement; helping to identify students who could act as peer mediators; assessing the safety and security of our school buildings; and reinforcing the importance of regular school attendance, including through home visits conducted with school personnel.
Deputy Schiller looks forward to working with the students and staff of the Onteora School District. “I hope to serve as an ‘approachable’ School Resource Officer, who is able to work with both staff and students to address and resolve any issues that may arise,” he says. “My goal as a School Resource Officer is to work jointly with the District to ensure a safe environment where everyone is able to thrive.”
Onteora has not had a School Resource Officer for the past seven years. Previously, the District hosted a New York State trooper who served as an SRO, with the cost being borne by the State. The State discontinued this arrangement in 2009, citing budgetary constraints.