Sexual Assault Program Recognized By National Association Of Counties (“NACo”)
Saugerties, N.Y.- County Executive Mike Hein is proud to announce the expansion of the Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault (UCBASA) Program to Saugerties. Several bars/restaurants attended the informational meeting held at the Saugerties Police Department and were joined by Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra, Town of Saugerties Supervisor Fred Costello, Ulster County Chief of Staff and Deputy County Executive Adele B. Reiter, Deputy County Executives Ken Crannell and Marc Rider, Assistant District Attorney Katherine Van Loan, and members of the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP). Representatives from the following bars/restaurants attended the informational meeting on Wednesday: Annabella Ristorante, Diamond Mills, El Rancho, Rock Da Casbah, and Sue’s Restaurant.
The UCBASA program is a ground-breaking program that provides bystander training for restaurant/bar staff as it aims to prevent sexual assaults before they occur and reduce the overall number of sexual assaults that take place. It is the first such program in New York State and can serve as a model for the development of a state-wide initiative. The innovative program was previously launched in New Paltz and Kingston and has trained 46 staff and 9 bars. Ulster County received a 2018 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo”) for its Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault program in the category of Human Services.
Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
“I appreciate the ongoing commitment and dedication of our Crime Victims Assistance Program team for their work in providing these trainings in our community, and I would like to thank Police Chief Joe Sinagra for his participation in bringing this important program to Saugerties as well as all of the establishment participating in the training,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “UCBASA is an unprecedented initiative to empower the owners and employees of Ulster County’s taverns, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, to not only recognize the warning signs but also to intervene in situations where it appears that an individual may be at-risk of sexual assault. It is an unfortunate reality that in the United States a sexual assault occurs every 98 seconds and that alcohol consumption plays a role in nearly one-half of all reported sexual assaults. The UCBASA program can help impact these statistics here in Ulster County and beyond.”
Police Chief Joseph Sinagra, Town of Saugerties
“I want to thank County Executive Mike Hein and the Crime Victims Assistance Program for providing this important training in Saugerties, and who without such support, these initiatives would not be possible,” said Chief Joseph Sinagra, Town of Saugerties Police Department. “I am ecstatic to once again be working with Ulster County in providing yet another program to enhance the safety of our community and visitors. The UCBASA program is one more step toward protecting vulnerable individuals from sexual assault. To partner with local bars and restaurants in this effort truly epitomizes the concerns we all share in ensuring the safety of all patrons visiting our bars and restaurants.”
Fred Costello, Jr., Supervisor of the Town of Saugerties
“Saugerties is grateful for the support and efforts of the Ulster County government in raising awareness and preventing sexual assault,” said Fred Costello, Jr., Supervisor of the Town of Saugerties. “The UCBASA program represents an important milestone in our community’s efforts to prevent sexual assault. Through UCBASA, community leaders and hospitality businesses can coordinate their efforts to raise awareness and identify situations that may expose people to dangerous situations. Through training, bartenders and servers can be taught to identify and address situations before they escalate. This free training will help to ensure that patrons and employees alike can continue to safely enjoy the many restaurants and bars that help to define Saugerties as a destination.”
Sarah Kramer-Harrison, M.Ed., Ulster County Crime Victims Counselor/Volunteer Coordinator
“We believed that it was important to create a proactive program in Ulster County to inform bystanders of what to look for and how they might be able to assist in deterring a possible sexual assault at their establishment,” said Sarah Kramer-Harrison, M.Ed., Ulster County Crime Victims Counselor/Volunteer Coordinator. “With the support of Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, we were able to make this a reality. UCBASA is an awareness program where we bring knowledge of offender behavior, local statistics, and appropriate interventions that bar staff can use to keep patrons safe. Interest in this program has grown exponentially and again, with the support of the County Executive Hein, local law enforcement and the community, we are pleased to be expanding this innovative training to Saugerties.”
UCBASA will hold its next training on January 23, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Sue’s Restaurant located at 3101 Route 9W, Saugerties, New York. If you or your establishment wish to participate in the training, please RSVP to Sarah Kramer-Harrison at Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Programs via email at skra[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us or via phone at 845-340-3445.
Photo above: UCBASA Launch in Saugerties