Task force begins patrols to crack down on Rockland COVID-19 violations
Beginning today, members of the new task force will begin patrolling Rockland's red zone areas.
Ramapo town employees are joining forces with the state to crack down on non-compliance of COVID-19 safety guidelines in Rockland County, especially in the designated red zone areas.
Beginning today, members of the new task force will begin patrolling Rockland's red zone areas. Six employees have gone through training to become part of a COVID-19 enforcement task force and have the ability to hand out fines of up to $15,000.
According to Ramapo town officials, the employees are from code enforcement and parking enforcement, with at least one person fluent in Yiddish.
Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Andrw Cuomo launched enforcement zones, or red zones that included portions of Ramapo. The Village of Spring Valley, located within Ramapo, saw one of the biggest spikes in the state.
As a result, strict regulations were issued, schools were closed, and religious gatherings limited to just 10 people. All have been designed to stop the spread of the virus. But, non-compliance has been a problem.
News 12 cameras also captured multiple schools in red zone areas open last week, and have received pictures from viewers showing children on buses in Spring Valley.
"I think if they were properly trained and given the understanding of what to do and how to do it then I think that sounds great, God knows we need it," says Marty Gilbert, of Suffern.
Ramapo officials say the hope is with more eyes watching, people will comply with the rules. "They'll be going out in teams of twos and threes to visit sites to monitor for compliance and to do enforcement if there is a lack of compliance," says Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht.
Another five part-time town workers will be made available next week, Specht said, if the state needs them. Village workers were out with the governor's task force. "We have visited several locations to ensure compliance with the executive order of the governor," he said.
Rockland County staff from the Department of Health and Fire and Emergency Services also took part in the New York State Police Task Force on Friday. "Monday we will be adding Consumer Protection staff to bring our total contribution to 15," said county spokesman John Lyon.