MONTICELLO - “We have had some really large incidents this month, and volume has picked up ten to 15 percent. Summer is coming,” said Alex Rau, E911 and EMS Coordinator for Sullivan County.
He was speaking during the county legislature's Public Safety Committee meeting last week, and other public safety officials echoed those sentiments.
“We've had a very active month,” said Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan.
She said her office is currently investigating major cases, including homicides.
A busy summer is nothing new here in the Catskills, but as more people are vaccinated, county officials are expecting an influx of visitors.
This past weekend saw a high volume of people swimming and boating in the Delaware River.
The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office is making water safety a priority.
“Last year Swinging Bridge was overrun by jet skis and other irresponsible boaters,” said Undersheriff Eric Chaboty. “So we're going to be very proactive in preventing any type of tragedy out there on the water.”
Additionally, Chaboty announced that they are partnering with the District Attorney's Office and the New York State Police on a pedestrian safety campaign.
“We'll be doing community outreach this summer to make people aware of being safe while walking on the roads,” Chaboty said.
Galligan acknowledged that pedestrian safety is a major issue, and it will only get worse over the summer.
“I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we're a rural county; our infrastructure is maybe not as great as cities—we don't have sidewalks or streetlights,” she said. “So the main thing we can do is advocate for driver awareness.”
Chaboty said that they have received numerous complaints on River Road in Callicoon, where pedestrians are walking three or four side-to-side in the road.
Part of the campaign will include providing reflective vests to pedestrians, especially those who have to wear dark clothing because of their religion.
Galligan said the State Police have secured mobile boards to put up notification alerting drivers to drive carefully and watch for pedestrians.