BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dr. Tim Uhl oversees the 32 elementary schools in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

We sat down with him to see what security measures are in place and if parents should feel safe sending their kids to these schools.

Dr. Uhl told News 4, he wishes private schools like his had the same money available to upgrade security as public schools have. He said the installation of metal detectors and other systems makes some schools feel like prisons.

“I don’t know. It’s sort of a tough thing. It’s sort of like the training, if you go too far then you kind of destroy the sense of calm that school needs to be,” said Dr. Uhl. “So, there is sort of a tension there. We don’t want our schools to become prisons where it kind of disturbs that school environment.”

He said Diocese schools have regular emergency drills and response plans in place.

The installation of security equipment isn’t uniform across schools.

“I haven’t heard anyone say, we wish we had those sort of weapons detection systems,” Dr. Uhl said. “That’s not to say those aren’t necessary and important in the right places. We do have non-public safety equipment money available, but, it’s probably not enough, it hasn’t gone up enough to install the cameras and entry systems we need.”

Dr. Uhl added that he thinks there’s more lawmakers could be doing to limit certain guns that are being used in school shootings.

He believes parents should feel safe sending their kids to schools like St. Mark School.

“People who say there is really nothing you can do then the next logical conclusion is except for arming people and getting more guns,” said Dr. Uhl. “And I think to myself, well there are things that we can do. We could limit the access to assault weapons, we could do that. That would prevent some loss of life and there are things we can do.”

Dr. Uhl also said parents should keep tabs on their child’s mental health because the effects of the pandemic and school shootings weigh heavily on students.


Also, News 4’s Jacquie Walker discussed school security with Jeff Rinaldo, a former Buffalo Police Captain who is now a security consultant. You can see the interview above.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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