Orange County Law Enforcement Officials Offer Summer Safety Tips

By Cara Ding
Cara Ding
Cara Ding
Cara is an Orange County, New York-based Epoch Times reporter. She can be reached at
May 25, 2023Updated: May 31, 2023

As summer approaches, Orange County law enforcement and emergency services officials are reminding residents to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

At a May 24 press conference in Port Jervis, officials offered safety tips regarding swimming, boating, hiking, biking, fireworks, and having parties.

“It is the human element that we are here to talk about—the good decision-making about being safe [so] that you have the most fun possible when you get out,” county District Attorney David Hoovler said.

The summer safety awareness event was sponsored by Goshen-based Dana Distributors.

According to Ingrid Peterec from the National Park Services, an average of two people drown every year in the Upper Delaware River, which flows along the western border of Orange County; most drowned while swimming in the river.

Residents are advised to wear life jackets when swimming or boating.

“When you are looking at the river, it does tend to look very placid,” Peterec said at the press conference. “But if you find yourself in that water, you [will feel] the current that is running underneath.”

The Delaware Rive
The Delaware River in Deerpark on Sept. 26, 2015. (Holly Kellum/Epoch Times)

She reminded people to not panic or try to stand up when in water but to float on their backs and gently paddle themselves to the shore.

“With the current as hard and fast as it is, it can actually push you over even if you are wearing a life jacket, so please do not try to stand up in the water,” she said.

Brendan Casey, commissioner of emergency services, said the county recently invested in specialized rescue equipment that can be tossed into water by first responders to pull people ashore.

Road Safety

Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden said that tourist traffic grows during the summer and that drivers should pay more attention to their surroundings.

“We ask you to please be proactive when you are driving out there—watch out for pedestrians crossing the road,” he said. “You are also going to see an increased number of bicyclists on the roadways.”

Hikers and bikers should take their cellphones with them and tell people of their plans, Hoovler said. And bikers should always wear helmets.

Epoch Times Photo
A cyclist rides in downtown Port Jervis, N.Y., on Oct. 9, 2022. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

As for fireworks, Hoovler reminded residents that aerial fireworks are illegal in New York.

Handheld or ground-based sparkling devices are generally allowed in the state, except in municipalities that have enacted local bans.

During holidays such as Memorial Day, law enforcement agencies throughout the county put more officers out on the street to deter intoxicated drivers.

“When you see law enforcement out there, take a minute to thank them because they are out there protecting you when they can be with their families,” Hoovler said.

According to traffic safety program administrator John Jones, arrests for driving while intoxicated offenses in the county rose from an annual average of 1,200 to 1,478 in 2022.

This year, DWI arrests are on pace to surpass the 2022 total, he said.

“We all like to have fun, and with fun, we have to have responsibility,” Jones said.