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December 19, 2012

Police chief: Newtown could happen here

By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — City Police Chief Dennis Nayor told the Common Council he will recommend that school buildings lock all doors after pupils arrive to better protect students and staff.

Oneonta isn’t immune to violent acts like the shooting in Newtown, Conn., last week, Nayor said during a report to the council Tuesday night, and “it’s just by chance” something similar “hasn’t happened here.”

Nayor said he visited Oneonta’s elementary schools Tuesday and found many “good processes’’ in place. However, he said, more could be done and he has started looking for ways to improve security. Little can be done to stop someone “bent on total destruction,”Nayor told the council. But measures can be taken to deter or slow down a threat, he said, and applying “best practices” will “keep the odds in our favor.”

Nayor also will be working with city officials to review security of municipal buildings, city manager Michael Long said at Tuesday’s meeting in City Hall.

Nayor also reported that city police made 183 arrests of college students since July 1. Of those cases, 152 were SUNY Oneonta students and 31 were Hartwick College students, he said, and the cases were reported to college administrators.

The arrests included 18 violent offenses, three felonies, 48 misdemeanors and 114 violations, he said.

In other business at the meeting:

— Mayor Dick Miller said he would sign a law to change boundaries of the eight wards, and also three other ordinances on rules for peddling, property tax penalties and public improvements for water systems.

— The council established Jan. 3 as Mike Naples Day, in honor of the Sixth Ward alderman who was elected last year and died of natural causes in January.

— Recognize the Oneonta High School Boys Soccer team as 2012 Southern Tier Athletic Conference champions.