Ulster County works with New Paltz bars to spot and stop sexual assaults

Caption: (L-R) :Sarah Kramer-Harrison and Cindi Craft of Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program; County Executive Mike Hein; Nancy Schmidt, Deputy Director of Ulster County Department of  Probation; and Town of New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder.

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.

There are 3 comments

  1. jess d'adore

    Like people who work at bars don’t have enough to do without looking for signs of “potential victims.” Everybody is a potential victim. I can’t imagine what they were told to look out for, except possibly a fall-down drunk girl being carried off by a frat boy… which itself isn’t a crime. You can call attention to it, and be like “hey, are you sure you’re ok?” but chances are the reaction will be something like “yeah who the f### are you to ask?”

  2. Paul

    Unbelievable, that they were willing to get bartenders involved, with what results in, bartenders doing what Cops are paid to do. If a bartender feels someone is too drunk, they are to stop serving them alcohol. This alone will prevent further problems.
    I really don’t see any good coming from bartenders getting involved this deep. The bars will suffer eventually, as patrons will cease going there, for fear of being implicated in something they weren’t involved with….

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