Water Safety for the Upcoming Summer


Drowning Remains Leading Killer of Children Ages 1-4

MAHOPAC, NY – With the coming Memorial Day weekend about to mark the unofficial start of summer, Senator Terrence Murphy was joined by Putnam County Officials yesterday to raise awareness about water safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ten people lose their lives to drowning every day.

“In the 40th Senate District we have a number of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers that if not properly respected could cause great tragedy,” Murphy said. “Here at Lake Mahopac we are reminded about the importance of not only safety in the water but on the water with our boats and jet skis. By taking common sense precautions we can ensure a safe summer for everyone.”

As of this April, boaters are now able to take the required state safety course online. Individuals born on or after May 1, 1996 are required to complete an approved course on boater education in order to operate a motorboat.

“From the Hudson River to Lake Mahopac, Putnam County has an abundance of natural bodies of water that our residents take advantage of every year,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “This year, I urge all of our residents to take the necessary precautions before jumping into the water to ensure this is the safest summer in Putnam County’s history.”

The CDC reports children of ages one to four have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, more than 30% of unintentional deaths of children in that age group were as a result of drowning. However, the CDC points out that most drownings for children occur at home, in swimming pools.

“Safety concerns should not just be limited to the water, but should include safety in our backyards and highways,” Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith said. “With Memorial Day upon us, we should strive to protect each other by not drinking and driving or durgging and driving. I look forward to our continued work with local law enforcement across our great county as we keep Putnam the safest county in New York State.”

“As a former Carmel police officer I had the privilege of patrolling Lake Mahopac, which I believe is the jewel of Mahopac, and know firsthand of the tragedies that can arise from disrespecting the water,” Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt said. “I echo Senator Murphy’s call for common sense precautions to be taken when enjoying the lake this year.”


Putnam County Fallen Hero Vigil Honoring NYPD Officer Brian Moore

Putnam County Government in cooperation with the Fraternal Order of Police Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge 704 (FOP) held a vigil service on the steps of the Historic Court House in Carmel on Wednesday afternoon, May 6, to honor the memory of fallen New York Police Department Officer Brian Moore.

Moore, a 25-year-old plainclothes officer who worked for the 105th Precinct, died on Monday, May 4 after being shot in the line of duty on Saturday in Queens. He was on the force for five years and made 150 arrests.

Putnam Sheriff Donald B. Smith served as the service’s master of ceremonies and an invocation was given by Father Matthew MacDonald of St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.

“It is very important that we honor the memories of all those who have lost their lives in making the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of the United States of America in protecting our way of life and all the freedoms we enjoy,” said Sheriff Smith. “Our hearts go out to all of their family members.  We want them to know that we are truly a grateful nation and we will always remember their service and sacrifice.”

FOP President Kevin Sheil noted that Moore’s death is part of an unfortunately growing trend that should put active officers on alert.

“Officer Moore was a good cop who loved working for the New York Police Department,” said Sheil. “He was shot during an anti-crime patrol by an unrighteous person. It is becoming far too common around the county. Police officers have to be more vigilant than they ever before.”

The keynote speaker of the vigil was Susan McCormack who is president and founding member of Survivors of the Shield. Founded in 1988, Survivors of the Shield provides support and assistance to the spouses and children of New York City police officers killed in the performance of their duty.

“Most people do not know that in between 120 and 160 police officers dine in the line of duty every year,” said McCormack. “Thank you to Putnam County for honoring the law enforcement community and the service they provide. This recognition and gratitude is needed more than ever in light of current events.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell closed the ceremony.

“Putnam County is made up of first responders – career and volunteer, and we stand united with the men and women in blue in the NYPD and throughout the country,” Odell said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Moore family as well as the families, friends and neighbors of all the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Several fallen officers have local ties to the Putnam community—Detective Stephen Driscoll (2001), Officer John Falcone (2011), Officer Michael Williams (2014) and Deputy Sheriff Joe Matuskovic (2014).

“Next week is National Police Week,” added Odell. “We planned on recognizing Police Week by illuminating the Historic Court House in blue next week, but in light of the recent death of Officer Moore, we will be moving the start of the blue-lit court house tonight.”

Police Week runs May 10-17.  In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Communities join tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.


Photo caption: Sheriff Donald B. Smith addressing the crowd during the Fallen Hero Vigil held on the steps of the Putnam County Historic Court House on Wednesday, May 6. He was joined by Fraternal Order of Police Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge 704 President Kevin Sheil, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Survivors of the Shield President Susan McCormack.



Putnam County Clerk Michael Bartolotti and County Executive Maryellen Odell Boost Organ Donation

For Release: Immediate (April 3, 2015)
Contact: Lorrie Pelliccio 845-808-1142, Extension 49301

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti and County Executive MaryEllen Odell will be partnering with the New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) to promote organ, eye and tissue donation in Putnam County.  This program is responsible for saving and improving the lives of thousands of New Yorkers in dire need of transplants.

“April is National Donate Life month, and we are delighted to continue working with NYAD on a countywide basis to encourage residents to become an organ or tissue donor.”  Mr. Bartolotti said, “Putnam County is proud to be one of the many counties throughout the state participating in this important program and I am pleased to partner with County Executive Odell in bringing this program to the attention of our residents.”

There are over 19 million New Yorkers; yet only 24% of adults in New York State are registered donors, compared to the national average of more than 50%.  In New York alone, the number of men, women and children waiting for a transplant is over 10,000.  While 32% of Putnam County residents are registered donors, we believe we can do better!

Mr. Bartolotti will be placing brochures and posters in the Putnam County DMV alerting customers of the donor crisis and asking them to enroll on the Life Registry.  Interested customers can also enroll by checking off the organ donor box on any license or non-driver ID card transaction (MV-44).  Ms. Odell will continue the message she outlined in her State of the County Address to boost awareness of this program throughout the county.

“21 people die every day due to the lack of available organs.  98% of New Yorkers enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry through local DMV offices which makes our efforts on this behalf even more important.”  County Executive Odell said, “We can make a significant difference in increasing the numbers of donors through our constant contact with residents, and I am happy to work alongside County Clerk Bartolotti and NYAD to make their goal of a significantly increased registry a reality.”




Take a look at the Town of Kent’s “Arts on the Lake” first video segment

Good Day Hudson Valley host Lisa Kaslyn takes viewers on the road to highlight the arts in Putnam County. In her first segment, she introduces her audience to Arts on the Lake, a small but thriving organization that fosters performances, exhibits and art classes in a former fire house located on Route 52 along the shores of beautiful Lake Carmel in Kent, NY. For more information on Arts on the Lake, visit their website at



Putnam Sheriff’s Dept. is Offering Voluntary Vessel Inspections Starting in May

Sheriff Donald Smith invites Putnam County residents to have a voluntary vessel inspection done by one of his Deputies assigned to the Marine Unit. In an attempt to educate the community on safe boating, Deputies will advise boaters of the required safety equipment and boating regulations in New York State. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrols Lake Mahopac, Oscawana Lake and the Hudson River.

Deputies will be performing inspections at:

Mahopac Marina @ 897 South Lake Blvd, Mahopac NY 10541 on May 30st, 9am-2pm

Cold Spring Boat Club @ 5 New Street, Cold Spring NY 10516 on May 31st, 9am-1pm

MacDonald Marina @ 1 Marina Dr., Mahopac NY 10541on June 6th, 9am-2pm

Oscawana Lake Marina @ 96 Dunderberg Road, Putnam Valley NY 10579 on May 31st, 1pm-4pm

If you cannot make one of those events please contact Sergeant Michael Szabo 845-225-4300 x266 to arrange an appointment.