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Effective immediately, all children ages 12-15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, meaning all state residents ages 12 and up can now be protected against COVID-19. The Rensselaer County Health Department will be hosting a Pfizer Vaccine Clinic for 12 to 15 year olds at the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday, May 14 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent and bring proof of age. This is a walk-in clinic. No appointment is necessary.

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Officer Jay MartynOfficer Jay Martyn from the East Greenbush Police Department is Columbia High School’s new School Resource Officer. He’s been a police officer for nearly 14 years in East Greenbush and Rensselaer.

In this new assignment, which began Monday, he will be ensuring safety at Columbia every school day.

Q: What’s the job been like so far?
A: The reception has been great. It’s a big school compared to Rensselaer where I graduated from. My feet are going to wear out as I learn this building.

Q: How do you see your role in the school?
A: Safety is the number one priority. Safety for the students and the staff. I want to build a rapport with the kids. And I know that trust level is going to be built over time. I want to let them know I’m here for them.

Q: Why did you want this assignment?
A: I want to ensure the safety of our students. I was looking for a change of pace from what I did working the street.

Q: What have your assignments been in the past?
A: Patrol, SWAT team, instructor, warrant control officer, member of the Honor Guard.

Q: Have you been involved in the community aside from your police work?
A: I’ve been coaching East Greenbush Pop Warner for four years and East Greenbush Little League for five years. I’m also on the board with them.

Q: It must help having a security team in place at the school, as well as recently upgraded cameras.
A: The security staff and monitors here are fantastic. They’ve been more than helpful and accommodating. I couldn’t ask for a better group. And it’s helpful to have this camera system so that we can go back and make sure that we are doing things fairly and accurately. We can go back and say, ‘Hey, this is what actually happened.’

Q: What are you looking forward to most about this job?
A: This is a different kind of work for me. On the streets, you wear many different hats – you’re a police officer, but you’re also a lawyer and a counselor. I’m going to have some of those same roles here, but it will be different because the kids are so young. I’m looking forward to it.