Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announced this week a new program of the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program called the Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault Program.
The program will provide bystander training for bar staff as it aims to prevent sexual assaults before they occur and reduce the overall number of sexual assaults that take place. According to the county executive’s office, it is the first such program in New York State and could serve as a model for the development of a state-wide initiative.
Assistance has come from Town of New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder and the New Paltz Tavern Owners Association president, Mike Beck. Three bars are participating in the pilot program: P&G’s Restaurant & Bar, McGillicuddy’s Restaurant & Tap House and Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub. Those establishments that have completed the training will receive a certificate designed so that SUNY New Paltz students and all Ulster County residents will know that the establishment cares about this issue and the community at large.
“The Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault Program is an important preventative measure that provides an invaluable tool for bar staff to recognize the signs of someone who may be experiencing unwanted advances,” said Hein. “The [Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault Program] is cutting edge in its ability to teach bar staff how and why sex offenders offend, what qualifies as sexual assault and why consent is vital. It looks at local statistics and teaches sexual assault prevention knowledge to create a comprehensive program that meets the complex and diverse needs of training front-of-house staff to appropriately intervene on the behalf of their patrons. I have directed our team to share all aspects of this program with all interested municipalities.”
Chied Snyder said that he is excited to work with the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program in implementing this training. “This is a valuable program that helps educate civilians in our community on warning signs that may lead to a person becoming a potential victim, and I am pleased that County Executive Hein recognized the importance of this issue and implemented this critical initiative,” he said.