Plan Features Improved Coordination and Communication
New City, NY, – Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann announced preparations were underway for the upcoming July 4th holiday at Rockland Lake State Park. After the issues that occurred on the 2018 July 4th holiday several meetings were held with representatives of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, members of law enforcement, emergency responders, state representatives and representatives from town governments to find solutions to the issues that occurred in and surrounding NY State Parks within Rockland County.
“We have every expectation that the mayhem that occurred last year on the Fourth of July will not be repeated,” said County Executive Day. “Zero tolerance will be the order of the day with tow trucks at the ready to deal with any violators. I thank all of the organizations and municipalities that have worked together to prepare for this holiday and look forward to a day of enjoyment at this gem of Rockland County.”
Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said, “I want to thank the Clarkstown Police Department for coordinating public safety and enforcement efforts with other agencies to ensure that the residents of Clarkstown can also enjoy a relaxing, peaceful Independence Day.”
A comprehensive plan was created and implemented with success during the Labor Day 2018 and Memorial Day 2019 holidays. Rockland County is host to several New York State Parks. In addition to use by local residents, the parks are used frequently by non-local residents. Rockland Lake is a New York State Park which is located in the Town of Clarkstown. The park is accessed by two entrances. They are located on 9W adjacent to residential areas. During most times of the year, this does not create any issues, however during times of heavy park use, especially during July 4th and the period just before and after the pool/park usually exceeds its capacity.
It is during these times of high usage that illegal parking can be an issue. Cars have parked on the shoulder of 9W and in the neighborhoods adjacent to the park entrances.
To alleviate these issues prior to potential heavy use days, the Clarkstown Police Department will:
- Post no parking restrictions on local roads in the neighborhoods by both the north and south entrances to Rockland Lake State Park.
- Post no parking signs on the road adjacent to the entrance of Hi-Tor State Park.
- Assist the park staff to direct traffic as needed.
- Use their variable message signs to inform park attendees of parking restrictions.
- Notify local tow truck companies that they may be called during peak days.
New York State Parks and Park Police will:
- Implement improved process for vehicles entering Rockland Lake State Park to alleviate issues on the surrounding road network.
- Park staff will monitor park attendance and advise the NY State Park Police of when the park will be closed (Park capacity is approximately 3,000 cars, the decision to close would be made when the on-site parking capacity is above 90% to allow sufficient time for patrons outside of the immediate vicinity enough time to alter their plans and those in the immediate area time to be able to get in).
- Update the park website to reflect current conditions at the parks.
- Park staff will use NYAlert for park closure notifications.
- A dispatcher from the NYS Park Police will operate out of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division (44-Control).
- NYS Park Police will increase staffing levels during times of heavy park use.
County of Rockland will:
- The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office will assign officers to Rockland Lake State Park.
- Upon notification from the New York State Park Police RC Sheriff’s Communication Division will follow section 200.90 of their procedure and notify all county police agencies and selected county staff according to above procedure.
- The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit will operate within Rockland Lake State Park to assist with crowd control.
- If needed the Mobile Communications vehicle will be deployed to assist with onsite communications.
Additional measures have been undertaken to improve communication and coordination between these agencies and others to prepare for and respond to heavy use days at all parks within Rockland County.