Manhunt Prompts Increased Security At New York Schools

FREDONIA, N.Y. – Chautauqua County schools have stepped up security as a result of an ongoing manhunt for an inmate on the loose.

Police are searching for Ralph “Bucky” Phillips who escaped from Erie County Jail. He is the prime suspect in the shootings of three officers, one of whom died as a result of his injuries.

Because of the manhunt, some of Fredonia Central School District’s 1,781 students were subject to as many as four roadblocks while traveling to their first day of school on Sept. 5. The district’s superintendent Paul DiFonzo has made arrangements with state police and the district’s transportation department so that school buses will move to the front of the line when they come to a checkpoint. Additionally, no officers will board the vehicles.

Police will also be stationed at the district’s kindergarten, first and second grade building for part of each school day. Additionally, officers will patrol the areas surrounding the schools.

On Sept. 5, all sports practices will be held inside but will be moved outside the following day. Police will watch some of the fields until the manhunt is concluded.

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