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Sheriff's Office Unveils Project C.R.A.S.H to County High Schoolers

Written By Timothy Knight on 10/11/16 | 10/11/16


COBLESKILL - Following months of shooting film and countless volunteer hours, the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office unveiled a twenty-seven minute film to the bulk of the county's high school students at SUNY Cobleskill on Thursday morning as part of the department's Project C.R.A.S.H initiative to discourage distracted teen driving.

Photos by Timothy Knight
Spearheaded by Schoharie County Deputy Bruce Baker, in conjunction with SCCASA, the project began as an idea that soon took on a life of its own. A life that would not have become reality if not for the community's support.

The acronym for Project C.R.A.S.H stands for Creating Real Alternatives & Spreading Hope, which Deputy Baker hopes can fill the void left by DARE and other programs following Irene. 

Operating on the mentality that, "If we're going to impact the community, we need to include the community," Deputy Baker told The Schoharie News in a recent interview that all hands were on deck for this project. 

The film was showed in two viewings, hosted in the
SUNY Cobleskill Ballroom at Bouck Hall.
From involving the county's six school districts and various EMS/Fire Departments to Schopeg and LifeNet, volunteers came out of the woodwork to assist Baker in the development of the emotional video, which depicts the fatal effects of distracted teen driving.

The film's cast consists of high school students, law enforcement officials, first responders, local stage actors, and News10 ABC reporters, while video was shot and edited by the county's public access station, Schopeg. 

The first of many school buses arriving to drop off
hundreds of Schoharie County high schoolers for the premier.
Unveiled in two premiers to the entirety of the county's Junior and Senior high school students, News10 morning reporter Samantha DiMascio tweeted on the scene that students were crying throughout the film, with some even leaving the room altogether. 

Encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of community support and the students favorable response, Deputy Baker indicated that the Sheriff's Office will be tackling other topics in future films, including substance abuse and suicide prevention. Baker told The Schoharie News that he is eyeing the release of both by this holiday season.

The video has been published online by Schopeg for anyone to view, while the Sheriff's Office has launched a Facebook page to promote Project C.R.A.S.H.
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