Middletown, NY – As occurs every year, an extremely vital Jewish community public safety meeting was held today at Middletown Police Headquarters, with Hatzalah members from the state of New York , community activists, law enforcement officials and emergency personnel of upstate New York in attendance. Participants came from as near and far as Kingston, Liberty, Putnam, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, Greene, and other neighboring counties. Police chiefs, sheriffs, captains and sergeants addressed the most important safety issues for the upcoming season, when thousands of Jews travel upstate for the summer months.
The recurring theme of this meeting was the magnitude of saving lives. Taking proper precautions can prevent numerous unfortunate calamities:
Seatbelts and car seats are significant issues that cannot be stressed strongly enough. Buckle up and save lives—it’s that simple!
Do not pack your minivan with more than the allotted seats; one person per seatbelt. Overcrowding your vehicle is a dangerous hazard.
Additionally, talking on the phone while driving is a tremendous distraction. We need drivers to stay focused on the road and on driving carefully. One negligent driver alone can cause horrific damage to an untold amount of innocent bystanders and vehicle occupants.
This year’s event was particularly special, as the recently elected State Police Superintendent attended for the first time, saying he wanted to get to know the Jewish community’s issues and pledging to visit several summer camps in upcoming months to better know their needs.
One matter strongly stressed was the New York State Police’s new construction-zone speed-enforcement unit, which, the superintendent advised, will be in full force this summer rigorously monitoring vehicle speeding and prosecuting violators.
A second Jewish-community issue raised was the serious problem of children placing 911 calls. State Police brass strongly urged that all camps and parents repeatedly educate their children regarding this matter.
Finally, the issue of gang-related activity in Monticello was brought up, with law-enforcement personnel asserting that an active crack-down is under way.