ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Memorial Day weekend is a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather at a local park or beach and local police are making sure everyone is staying safe in the process.
Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies will be out in large numbers this weekend patrolling both the waterways and the parks as people celebrate the unofficial start of summer.
“It’s a great weekend to have fun, but we want people to do it safely and responsibly,” said deputy sheriff Phil Fantanza.
He said deputies will be highly visible at local beaches this weekend but also waterways like the Irondequoit Bay, Lake Ontario, and the canal. He said boater safety is the biggest concern going into the weekend.
“A lot of people kick off this weekend they get their boats out, it’s hopefully gonna be great weather and there’s a lot of rules and regulations people should follow when they’re out here, it’s not like the roadways where you can walk away from your vehicle if you get stranded.”
He said boaters should have a float plan, which is telling somebody on land where you’re going to be in case you go missing. He also said personal flotation devices are a must.
“Everybody needs to have one on the boat. Don’t keep them in a locked compartment in the packages you buy them in, have them readily available in case there was an emergency on that boat and you can get one on. It’s very difficult to put one on in the water. Anybody under the age of 12 needs to have one on,” he said.
He also said if you plan to swim, do so in designated areas.
“There’s a lot of shorelines on the beach, there’s gonna be lifeguards out, use those areas, don’t swim in areas where there’s no lifeguards,” he said. “Swimming in a waterway like the beach is a lot different than swimming in a pool, so your strong swimmers in a pool might have difficulty on the shoreline.”
He also said he advises people to be aware of their surroundings, lock their cars, be safe, and have fun.
A statement from Rochester police Wednesday:
As the Memorial Day weekend unfolds, the Rochester Police Department would like to wish everyone a safe and fun time of celebration.
Ontario Beach Park is a popular destination during this weekend and we expect a large number of people in the area. The goal of the Rochester Police Department is to make this weekend safe for all those that wish to visit. Due to the large turnout expected, additional patrols will be added to Ontario Beach Park and the surrounding areas. Aside from the Rochester Police Department, our partners from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office as well as the New York State Police will be joining us.
The Rochester Police Department is asking all those that visit to respect the park as well as others visiting. We realize that the area can become crowded quickly and as we have done in the past, we will close down the parking lot and area streets if the volume or activity of those visiting becomes unsafe.
Park visitors can expect to see foot patrols and bike patrols this weekend along with the vehicle patrols that normally occur.
The Rochester Police Department will be working in collaboration with area law enforcement partners throughout the holiday weekend to ensure safe roads for our community. We encourage individuals to celebrate responsibly.
- Please do not drink and drive.
- Please utilize a designated driver or any ride share services.
- If you see something, say something; call 911 so we can do something.