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Westchester County starts school safety program

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -

A former New York City police commissioner has been recruited to kick off a Westchester County program to protect schools and communities from violence.

William Bratton, who was NYPD commissioner from 1994-96, will be the main speaker at symposium next week on school safety, said County Executive Robert Astorino. Bratton also served as police commissioner in Boston and chief of police in Los Angeles.

School leaders and police departments are invited.

Astorino is also tapping the county police and health departments, plus clergy and local leaders for a "Safer Communities" initiative.

He said it is meant to prevent tragedies like the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

On April 9, the departments of Health and Community Mental Health will hold a "Community Violence Prevention Forum."

Astorino said Wednesday he wants to educate the public about existing county resources and improve inter-agency communication.

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