On Thursday, the City issued communication saying “safety concerns are seemingly on the rise” in regards to school pedestrian safety. Rye PD’s Youth Detective Gabe Caputo works closely with the Rye City schools. MyRye.com spoke with Caputo to understand his role and what each of us can do to make things safer for our kids and everyone else in Rye.
MyRye.com: You are the Youth Detective assigned to Rye City schools – what responsibilities are specific to your role?
Youth Detective Caputo: The Youth detective is not assigned to a particular school. I have an unique opportunity of fostering a relationship with the youth community here in Rye. Dr. Byrne and the Rye Schools allow me to travel from school to school interacting with staff and students. I attend sporting events, put on presentation, and participate in school activities. I am treated as one of their own. I usually start my day at either the High School or Middle school greeting the students as they arrive. I then make my way over to an elementary school and do the same. From there I may have a meeting or activities arranged with a teacher, class, or administrator. My favorite item is to travel through the school interacting with students and faculty. I do not do any “Law Enforcement” unless I am asked to do so by the school. A school is like a home and the head of each of these homes is the Principal. I make sure I am there to assist each Principal as they see fit.
Pedestrian safety, and school pedestrian safety, seems like an evergreen issue for a variety of reasons – safety, our kids, health and environmental benefits of walking instead of driving. What has the community achieved in the last number of years to enhance school pedestrian safety?
Youth Detective Caputo: The City has added lights and signs to enhance the safety of our crosswalks. The school has allowed me to give a pedestrian safety presentation to the students.
There are still problematic areas for school pedestrian safety including Parsons Street, the Snow Lot, and the mid-block Post Road crossing at the Osborn School. What can be done in the short and long term to improve safety at these and other areas in the City?
Youth Detective Caputo: Everyone should use crosswalks and not attempt to cross the road elsewhere. Parents should also drop children off at designated areas and not where ever they want. Dropping off on the Boston Post Rd or other choke points causes traffic to build up and creates more safety concerns for our children. Sonn Drive at the Boston post Road should not be used as a crosswalk.