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- Frequently Asked Questions -

Community Services

(Includes: Animal Control & Licensing, Census, Consumer Info, Electric & Utilities, Recycling/Trash/Waste, Telecommunications Services/Providers)




Community Services

(Includes: Animal Control & Licensing, Census, Consumer Info, Electric & Utilities, Recycling/Trash/Waste, Telecommunications Services/Providers)

Q.   Which cable companies operate in Dutchess County?

Dutchess County’s website provides a list of cable companies in the region.  Click Here to access this information.

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Q.   Which phone companies operate in Dutchess County?

Click Here for a list of phone companies that operate in Dutchess County.

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Q.   What can I do if my pet is lost?

The Dutchess County SPCA website gives Lost Pet Guidelines including pet–finding strategies and resources that you can use in search of a lost pet.

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Q.   How can I find someone to remove a wild animal (squirrel, bat, etc.) from inside my home?

From time to time, squirrels may get into your attic, a skunk may enter your basement, raccoons may get into your chimney, or you may find a bat in your house.  For professional assistance with removing a wild animal, contact a nuisance wildlife control officer.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has information about Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators on its website.  You can also contact the DEC at (845) 256-3098 for information about Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators.

Since some wild animals (like skunks, raccoons, and bats) can carry rabies, you should take proper precautions if you decide to remove one from your home yourself. Avoid contact with the animal's saliva or nervous tissue.  Any exposure (bite, or an open wound or mucous membrane exposure) to a wild animal should be reported to the Dutchess County Department of Health.  During normal business hours, you can reach the Department at (845) 486-3404.  After normal business hours, on weekends and on holidays, call (845) 431-6465.

Keep in mind, if you find a bat in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or intoxicated or mentally compromised person, do not let the bat go. Capture the bat and then call the Dutchess County Department of Health for additional guidance.  During normal business hours, you can reach the Department at (845) 486-3404.  After normal business hours, on weekends, and on holidays, call (845) 431-6465.

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Q.   Where can I call to report animal abuse or neglect?

Report all suspected cases of animal abuse or neglect to the Humane Law Enforcement Officer of the Dutchess County SPCA at (845) 452-7722 ext. 3.

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Q.   How much time do I have to license my new dog?

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets requires that every dog owned or harbored in New York State for longer than 30 days must be licensed in the town, city or village where the dog resides.

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Q.   Is there a leash law?

Local laws vary within each community.  Contact the individual municipality for the answer to this question.  Click Here to access a list of municipal contacts.

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Q.   What are the regulations regarding the keeping of fowl and livestock (chickens, pigs, horses, pigeons, etc.)?

For New York State and Dutchess County Sanitary Code regulations, contact Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Health Services Division at (845) 486-3404.

Zoning regulations for the keeping of livestock vary by municipality.  Click Here for a list of municipal addresses and links.

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Q.   I have found sick/injured wildlife. What should I do?

If the animal appears to be sick, it may have rabies.  Avoid contact with the animal and call the Dutchess County Department of Health for guidance, at  (845) 486-3404.  Click Here for more information about rabies. 

If the animal has suffered an injury that would make it hard for the animal to survive or take care of itself, volunteer wildlife rehabilitators will take the animal free of charge and care for it until it can be released back into the wild.

Call the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at (845) 256-3098 for the names of licensed volunteer wildlife rehabilitators in Dutchess County.  Visit the DEC website for more information on sick or injured wildlife and wildlife rehabilitators.

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Q.   Who can I call about a loose dog in my neighborhood that seems dangerous?

The animal control officer for each municipality will handle dog complaints and will enforce all state and local codes pertaining to pets. To find the name and location of your local animal control officer, click here and scroll down to the Animal Control Officer list maintained by the Dutchess County SPCA, OR contact your town, city or village.

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Q.   What do I do if a stray (or neighborhood) dog or cat bites me?

There are both health issues and legal issues involved when an animal bite occurs.

First handle the health issues:  Try to determine who the owner of the animal is so that the animal can be screened for rabies.  Call the Dutchess County Department of Health at (845) 486-3404 -or- (845) 431-6465 after hours to advise them of the bite.  Department of Health personnel are experienced in handling animal bite issues and they will determine what further steps need to be taken to ensure that you will not be at risk from rabies exposure.

For legal issues involving an animal bite, click Here.

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Q.   What is the procedure for dog licensing?

Visit the New York State website to download the state’s dog license application and to obtain more information about dog licensing and control.

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Q.   I saw a dead animal along the road. Is there someone I can call to pick it up?

First you must determine what entity is responsible for maintaining the road in question:  either the local municipality, or the county, or the state. The County's GeoAccess System can be used to determine whether an area of road falls under the jurisdiction of the County's Highway Division.

  • Click on the GeoAccess icon that appears at the top of the Public Works homepage to bring up the GeoAccess window.
  • Click on the Search button at the top right of the GeoAccess window
  • Select Roads_dc from the dropdown box as the search layer (Step 1.)
  • Select the road in question from the next dropdown box (Step 2.)

 

A table appears under Roads_dc at the bottom of the page giving a range of "low" and "high" addresses for the road.  Determine the correct range, then select the correspponding number in the left column titled "Zoom In".  County roads will appear in green; state roads will appear in yellow; interstate roads will appear in red; those roads whose jurisdiction is undetermined will appear in black.  For a more detailed legend, click on the "Legend" button at the top left of the window.

Once you’ve determined which entity is responsible for the road, contact the appropriate Highway Department.  Click on the following links to access contact information for: municipal highway departments, the County highway department and the NYS Department of Transportation.

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Q.   Where can I find the laws in New York State relating to dogs and other domestic animals?

The Animal Welfare Act is a comprehensive Federal law that regulates animal care.  Detailed information about this law can be found on the United States Department of Agriculture’s webpages.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides more information about how to fight animal cruelty.  Click Here to access this page.

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Q.   How can I find out about adopting a pet?

There are several websites that provide information about animals available for adoption.  Find out about animals available locally by visiting the Dutchess County SPCA’s website.  Find out about animals available for adoption over a larger geographical area by visiting the website of Petfinder.com.

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Q.   I’ve heard that black bear sightings are on the rise in Dutchess County. How can I avoid contact with bears?

Birdseed is a favorite food of bears.  According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

First and foremost, bears are readily attracted to back yards because of the presence of bird feeders.  The problem often escalates to other food sources such as garbage cans, barbecue grills and compost piles as bears become bolder and more acclimated to people.   If you take away the food you will take away the bear.

To minimize the chance of a bear encounter around your home, eliminate bird feeders as soon as bears emerge from their dens in March.  Also, secure household garbage indoors, feed your pets indoors, keep your barbeque grill clean and grease-free and do not compost food outdoors.

Click on the following links for more information that is helpful in preventing bear problems:

1. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s webpages regarding preventing bear problems.
   
2. The Center for Wildlife Information’s “Be Bear Aware” webpages.

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Q.   Is there a law regarding cleaning up after your dog?

Dog manure complaints are handled by both municipalities and the Dutchess County Sanitary Code.  Individual municipalities may pass local laws governing dogs, including leashing, barking, confinement to the owner’s property, or picking up waste.  Also, there may be restrictions on the type or number of dogs.  In these instances, the code enforcement officer or dog warden in the municipality will enforce these regulations.Click Here for a list of municipal phone numbers that you can call to find out about the specific dog-related laws that may be in effect in your city, town or village.

Public Health Nuisance complaints regarding accumulation of dog waste are investigated by the Health Department under Article 8 of the Dutchess County Sanitary Code.

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Q.   What can I do about a possibly rabid animal on my property?

If an animal on your property appears to be sick, or if it is behaving strangely, it may have rabies.  Avoid contact with the animal and keep your domestic pets away from the animal.   Call the Environmental Services Division of the Dutchess County Department of Health for guidance, at  (845) 486-3404.  Click Here for more information about rabies.

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Q.   How do I find out which County parks will allow dogs?

The regulations regarding pets in Dutchess County's Bowdoin Park and Wilcox Memorial Park and Quiet Cove require that dogs be on a leash which is no more than six feet.

For New York State parks, visit the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website that allows you to search by state park and/or by region as well as by attractions to find a list of state parks meeting the selected criteria.  Along with general park information, each park listed will give information about whether or not pets are permitted.  Click Here to access this website.

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Q.   Where do I find a schedule of free rabies vaccination clinics?

The Dutchess County Department of Health schedules rabies vaccination clinics for pets three times a year.  Call the Dutchess County Department of Health at (845) 486-3404 to find out when and where the next clinic is scheduled.  If you think you have been exposed to rabies, call the Department of Health at (845) 486-3404.

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Q.   How do I report a power outage or gas leak?

Immediately leave the premises where the gas odor is present.  Then, from another location, call your utility company or click on the link to your utility company’s website below to report a natural gas odor/emergency:

Central Hudson Gas & Electric:
24-hour Gas Odor Hotline:  1-800-942-8274
PowerLine:  845-452-2700
Website:  Central Hudson Gas & Electric

NYSEG:
Natural gas odor/emergency      1-800-572-1121
Electric interruption/emergency  1-800-572-1131
Website:  New York State Gas & Electric

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Q.   Is gas service offered in my area?

Contact your local service provider for the answer to this question.  Depending upon their location, residents and businesses in Dutchess County are serviced by either Central Hudson Gas & Electric, 1-800-527-2714, OR New York State Gas & Electric, (845) 278-8120.

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Q.   Who do I call about a streetlight that is out?

First you must determine who is responsible for maintaining the light.  As a general rule, if the streetlight pole is wooden then Central Hudson Gas and Electric (845) 452-2000 is responsible for the light repair.  If the pole is metal, then maintenance falls under the jurisdiction of a municipality or possibly a private owner.  Many residential subdivisions have streetlights that are owned and maintained by a homeowner's association in which case you would need to contact the association for repair.  

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Q.   How do I report downed power lines or tree branches leaning on a power line?

Stay far away from downed lines.  Even if they don’t hum, spark or jump around, they can be live and dangerous. Stay away from anything that is touching the line, such as a tree, fence, etc.  Call 911 and the local electric company.  Move away from a downed line by shuffling in small steps with your feet together on the ground, not by running.  If you run or take large steps, you increase the chance that electricity could come up one leg and go down the other, thereby shocking you.

Electricity always follows the shortest path to the ground.  If you are in a car when a power line comes in contact with the vehicle, stay in the car so that you will not become a part of the electricity’s path to the ground.  If you must leave the car because of fire or other danger, jump away from the vehicle in such a way that no part of your body will touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time, and land with your feet together.

Visit the following webpage that contains contact information for utility and cable companies in our area: http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/Community/UtilityCable.htm.

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Q.   I am a new resident. How can I find out which utility companies service my area of the county?

Depending upon their location, residents and businesses in Dutchess County are serviced by either Central Hudson Gas & Electric, 1-800-527-2714, OR New York State Gas & Electric, (845) 278-8120.

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Q.   Where can I file a child seat complaint or report a defect?

To register a complaint or report a defect online, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.

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Q.   How do I contact my city, town, or village historian?

The Dutchess County website lists contact information for each Municipal Historian in Dutchess County under the Municipalities section.  Links are provided to the websites of each city, town, and village where possible.

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Q.   Does Dutchess County ever offer its surplus equipment to other municipalities?

Recycled items that have been declared surplus equipment by Dutchess County are initially offered free to Dutchess County Departments only. Items that are not claimed are then offered free to municipalities of Dutchess County.

Please see Central Services Recycled Equipment webpage for a list of recycled equipment and how to obtain these items.

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Q.   Where can I go to stay cool during a heat wave?

If you don’t have air conditioning at home, seek out friends or family with air conditioning.  You can also find adequate air conditioning at normally operating businesses in your community.  Some suggestions of places you can go include grocery stores, libraries, town halls, community centers local malls or movie theaters.  Additionally, you can call your local municipality to see if they have opened any designated cooling centers.  Visit our Where Can I Go to Stay Cool During a Heat Wave? webpage for more information.

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Q.   Do you have a contact list for all municipalities in Dutchess County?

Yes.  Click Here to access a webpage containing the information.

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Q.   Where can I find a list of municipal officials?

You can access a list of municipal officials on the Dutchess County website by clicking Here.

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Q.   Does Dutchess County collect property taxes for the two cities in Dutchess County?

No, the City of Beacon and the City of Poughkeepsie collect and enforce their own taxes.

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Q.   Are there funds available for infrastructure, handicapped accessibility or human service program services?

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program application cycle is annual for municipalities and human service agencies.  For more information contact: (845) 486-3600.

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Q.   How can I find out about garbage and recycling services in my area?

For a complete list of recycleable drop-off locations in your area and other information, view our Transfer Station Recycling Programs web page.

For more information on dates and locations of the next household hazardous waste collection day, composting or recycling guides, and  hazardous/medical waste disposal, visit the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency's dedicated website at:
http://www.dcrra.org/index.html

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Q.   What do I do if a contractor has failed to complete a job or has done shoddy work?

You can lodge a complaint via the New York State Consumer Protection Board: http://www.nysconsumer.gov/assisting/complaint_form/complaint.htm.

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Q.   How do I file a complaint against a business?

You can lodge a complaint via the New York State Consumer Protection Board: http://www.nysconsumer.gov/.

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Q.   How can I get information about consumer law in New York State?

The New York State Consumer Protection Board website provides information about a variety of consumer issues and includes an on-line Consumer Law Help Manual.  Click Here to access this website.

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Q.   Whom can I call to get help with my debt?

Consumer Credit Counseling Service.  The nearest member can be reached by calling (800) 388-2227.

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Q.   Where is the nearest Better Business Bureau?

The Better Business Bureau that serves Dutchess County is located at 99 Lafayette Avenue, White Plains, NY 10603-3213,  (212) 533-6200; Fax (914) 428-6030

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Q.   How do I find out if a business has a complaint history?

You can find out if your home improvement contractor or other service provider has a complaint history by calling the New York State Consumer Protection Board Helpline at:  1-800-697-1220

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Q.   When will the next official Census be conducted?

The official Census is conducted every 10 years.  The next Census will be conducted in 2020.

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Q.   Where can I find information about the cost of living in Dutchess County?

For the most current information on the cost of living in Dutchess County, contact Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation at 3 Neptune Road, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601, dcedc@dcedc.com, Phone: (845) 463-5410, Fax: (845) 463-5401.  The US Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.

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Q.   Where can I find Dutchess County demographic information and census data?

Dutchess County demographics and census data are available under the Municipalities section of the Dutchess County website as well as on the webpages of Planning and Development.

For more information, contact: (845) 486-3600. 

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Q.   What is the population of Dutchess County?

Based on the U.S. Census Bureau's last official census of 2010, the population of Dutchess County is 297,466.  The Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development provides more detailed Census data on their webpages.  Click on the following link to view a list of  population information and other Census data.

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Q.   Who do I call to report a faulty meter on a gas pump?

Report suspected inaccuracies or violations to:
Dutchess County Division of Weights and Measures, 98 Peach Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, (845)486-2949; Fax (845)486-2947; e-Mail weightsandmeasures@co.dutchess.ny.us.

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Q.   What is the role of the Division of Weights and Measures?

The Dutchess County Division Weights and Measures is responsible for assuring measurement accuracy in commerce throughout its region in accordance with Article 16 of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.

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Q.   Why are Dutchess County gas prices are higher than surrounding counties such as Columbia and Ulster?

The higher price for gasoline in Dutchess County is directly attributed to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) requirement that Dutchess County stations sell reformulated gasoline to help improve air quality in the region.  Dutchess County, as well as Orange County and Putnam County, is part of a “non-attainment area”- designated by USEPA in mid-2004.  This means the levels of the pollutant ozone, as measured by an air monitoring meter, exceed the established federal standard.  A State “non-attainment area” must develop a state implementation plan (SIP) that describes its approach to reducing both the emissions of ozone precursors, and the overall level of ozone in the air.   The requirement for the sale of reformulated gasoline in Dutchess County and other lower Hudson Valley counties is part of the current SIP prepared by New York State.

Reformulated gasoline is more expensive than regular gasoline.  It is blended to burn cleaner and reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants in the air. The blend is made by adding ethanol (up to 10 percent) to increase the oxygen content of gasoline.

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Q.   Do I need a license to purchase and sell gold, silver and other precious metals?

Yes.  All establishments in Dutchess County engaging in the purchase of gold, silver, and other precious metals are licensed through the Dutchess County Division of Weights and Measures.

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Q.   Where can I go to dispose of unused or expired prescription medicine?

Contact the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency at (845) 463-6020 or visit their website at http://www.dcrra.org/index2.html to see their Meds Disposal Collection Day Event schedule.

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Q.   What can I recycle?

Items that are recycleable include:  glass bottles and jars (clear, brown, and green); tin and aluminum food and drink cans; aluminum foil products; HDPE and PET plastic containers; newspapers; office paper (businesses only); corrugated cardboard; major appliances; tires; yard wastes.

For more information on dates and locations of the next household hazardous waste collection day, composting or recycling guides, and  hazardous/medical waste disposal, visit the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency's dedicated website at:  http://www.dcrra.org/index.html.

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Q.   Where can I dispose of hypodermic syringes, needles, lancets and sharps containers?

All sharps to include needles, syringes and lancets must be placed in a rigid, puncture resistant closure such as a coffee can or a specifically made container called a sharps container.  As of July 1996, sharps from Dutchess County households can be taken to area hospitals for proper disposal.  Some of them also offer approved containers for sale. Please refer to the following website for the specific times, days and locations:  http://www.dcrra.org/sharps.html.

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Q.   Aren’t most sex offenders locked up?

Some sex offenders receive community sentences, such as probation supervision, and so remain in the community while serving their sentence. Sex offenders who are given jail or prison time are eventually released back into the community.  Offenders released from prison may be supervised by parole.  Short of incarceration, community supervision allows the criminal justice system one way to help control the offender. There is a growing interest in providing effective community supervision for this population to reduce the threat of future victimization.  The supervising agency can monitor the offender’s residence, require that the offender work and in some cases require that he or she participate in treatment. Certain sex offenders who find appropriate work and are in treatment while under community supervision present a reduced threat to the community.

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Q.   Where should I call in an emergency?

Call 9-1-1.  View All About 9-1-1 to learn all about our county’s 9-1-1 service.

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Q.   Is there a noise ordinance in my community and if so what are the hours?

Noise ordinances in the county vary from municipality to municipality.  To find out about noise ordinances in your town, city or village, click Here for a list of municipal contacts.

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Q.   What do I do if I or someone I know has been the victim of sexual assault?

You have several options.  You may choose to call local police or the 911 emergency number.  You can also go directly to the hospital emergency room (Saint Francis and Vassar Hospitals both have special facilities for sexual assault victims). 

The Crime Victims Assistance Program’s 24 Hour Sexual Trauma Crisis & Recovery Services Hotline (845-452-7272) can provide you with support and information on your options.  This agency’s staff has experience in dealing with crime victims, including adult and child victims (male and female) of sexual assault. 

For more information:

Victims' Resources and Services
http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/Community/VictimServices.htm

The Dutchess County Sex Offender Management Project, Community Education and Outreach Services Committee, and the Crime Victims Assistance Program of Family Services, Inc. has compiled the following information for sexual assault victims (.pdf format):

- Surviving Sexual Assault and Navigating the Criminal Justice System
- Dutchess County Sex Offender Management Procedure and Resource Guide

 

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
http://www.nyscasa.org

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network
http://www.rainn.org/  
                                                                                           
Male Survivor: Overcoming sexual victimization of boys and men
http://www.malesurvivor.org

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children  
http://www.apsac.org/

The Center for Sex Offender Management
http://www.csom.org/

National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth
http://www.ncsby.org/

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
http://www.atsa.com/

Safer Society Foundation, Inc.
http://www.safersociety.org/

Stop It Now!
http://www.stopitnow.com/

Child Abuse Prevention Network
http://child-abuse.com/

Parents for Megan’s law
http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/

Dutchess County Sheriff's Office - Sex Offender Search
http://www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_safety_1.php?office=54308

New York State Sex Offender Registry
http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/

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Q.   Who should I contact if I am concerned about the sex offender’s behavior?

If it appears to you that the offender has committed a crime or is acting suspiciously, call the county sheriff or the police department in your jurisdiction and report it as you would any other suspicious or criminal activity. Most areas have a 911 emergency service, but check with law enforcement to find out how to report a crime that you witness or suspect.  It is important that you leave it to law enforcement and do not take matters into your own hands.

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Q.   How long do sex offenders have to be registered?

Sex offenders in New York, who registered on or after March 11th of 2002, must register for at least ten years, unless they were given a designation, in which case they have to register for life.

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Q.   Is there any school district ranking information available?

The New York State Department of Education publishes a report each year called the “New York State School Report Card.”  This report provides information about the recent performance of public school districts in New York State.  Visit the following webpage to access this information - http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/reportcard/.

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Q.   What is sex offender registration?

In 1994 the federal Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was passed.  This law mandated states to set up sex offender registries to assist police in keeping track of sex offenders in their jurisdictions.  Each state may choose how to operate their registry. 

In New York State, a person must register as a sex offender if they have been convicted of certain offenses.  They have to tell local law enforcement where they will be living and, in some cases, where they will be working.  For more information about sex offender registration in New York State you can visit the  NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ website: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/.

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Q.   Where can I find a community guide and a calendar of events in my community?

There are a number of comprehensive on-line guides for Dutchess County that are updated regularly with the many events and attractions in our area.  Click on the following links for up-to-the-minute information about local happenings and places to visit:

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Q.   Where can I find information on getting married in New York State (marriage license, age requirements, changing my name, who can perform the ceremony, etc.)?"

A couple who intends to marry in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state.  The marriage license will cost approximately $40.  If both applicants are 18 years of age or older, no parental consents are required.

There is a space provided on the marriage license to indicate whether or not you are changing your name.  The marriage must take place within New York State if you are using a New York State marriage license.  To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law; some of these individuals are mayors, city clerks, judges, and clergy members.

For more detailed information on getting married in New York State, visit the section of the New York State Department of Health’s website that deal with marriages.

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Q.   How do I find out if there is a sexual predator in my area?

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is providing information to the community, about certain convicted sex offenders, in accordance with New York State Corrections Law, Article 6-C, entitled Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).  Click on the following link to view Sex Offenders In Your Area.

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Q.   What restaurants and hotels are in the area?

Visit our Dining and Lodging webpage to find links to various websites that provide guides to restaurants and places to stay in Dutchess County.
 

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Q.   Isn’t it just a matter of time before a sex offender commits another crime?

Studies done on the subject suggest that this is not the case, although the rates of reoffense vary among different types of sex offenders.  Interestingly, sex offenders re-offend at lower rates than the general criminal population.  However, the impact of sex crimes can be particularly devastating and long-lasting compared to other types of crime.

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Q.   Where can I find out about volunteer opportunities?

There are many volunteer opportunities that exist in Dutchess County.   Click Here to view a list of just some that are available.

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Q.   I just moved to Dutchess County. How do I register my vehicle?

To register your vehicle in Dutchess County, visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  To expedite your visit, view the information on the NYS DMV website to download the necessary forms to complete before you visit your local DMV office. Click Here to find out what documents you will need to bring to the DMV office and to download the forms.  Click Here for the location and hours of your local DMV office.

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Q.   Who is the historian for my town?

Contact your town hall for this information.  Click Here for a list of municipal historian contacts in Dutchess County.

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Q.   Where can I find answers to my questions about jury duty?

The New York State Unified Court System provides a juror information website with the stated purpose being “ to answer . . . concerns and give you an introduction into your upcoming jury service.  Please browse through the site and feel free to use the e-mail feature to ask questions or tell us what you think about your jury system.”  Click Here to access this website.

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Q.   How do a get a sign erected on a road?

First determine the ownership of  the road. To have a sign posted on a county road, call the Dutchess County Department of Public Works - Engineering Division at (845) 486-2925.  For a New York State road, contact the local NYS Department of Transportation - Traffic & Safety Division at (845) 575-6040. For a town or city road, contact the appropriate municipality. View our list of local municipal contact numbers.

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Q.   How can I find a licensed childcare provider?

The New York State Division of Child Care Services provides an on-line Child Care Facility Search of the entire database of regulated child care providers in New York State.  Click on the following link to access this facility -  http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/childcare/looking.asp

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Q.   My family has fallen on hard times and needs help. Is there a number I can call to get assistance in meeting our everyday needs?

2-1-1 is a free and confidential helpline number that easily links people to the services they need. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can call about everything from basic needs like food, clothing and shelter, to volunteer opportunities, legal services, drug treatment, employment support, childcare, eldercare and more.  Click on the following link for more information: http://www.hudson211.org/cms/.

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Q.   When is the next monthly meeting of the County Legislature?

The scheduled meeting dates for the County Legislature can be found one the County Government Consolidated Calender.

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Q.   What is community notification all about?

In 1996, Congress passed Megan’s Law.  Megan’s Law is an amendment to the sex offender registration act and requires states to develop community notification programs to make information about registered sex offenders available to the community.  This information can help community members make planning decisions about the safety of themselves and their family.

New York State Law allows local police to give out certain information about some registered sex offenders. The amount of information depends on the offender’s designated risk level.  Little information can be released about low risk offenders.  Much more information can be released about moderate to high risk offenders, including the offender’s picture and description of their offense.  Specific information on high risk offenders’ addresses is available.  Information on where moderate risk offenders reside is given in general terms, such as by zip code

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Q.   How can I contact the police when it is not a 9-1-1 emergency?

See our list of non-emergency police contact telephone numbers and addresses for Dutchess County.

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Q.   Where can I find information about becoming a firefighter?

Contact your local fire department.  View our list of Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services Providers in Dutchess County for non-emergency contact information.

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Q.   Do Juvenile Delinquent Sex Offenders have to register?

While some states require juvenile delinquent sex offenders to register, New York State does not.

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Q.   What resources and services does the Mid-Hudson Library System offer?

The Mid-Hudson Library System offers many programs and services.  Visit their website http://www.midhudson.org/ to find out more information including member library districts.  Also visit our Libraries webpage for contact information and links to libraries in Dutchess County.

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Q.   What is a Bicycle Safety Rodeo and how can I organize one in my community?

The rodeo is a series of events or challenges, which provides an opportunity for bicyclists to practice and develop skills they need to avoid typical crashes. View our Guide (.pdf) for further information on organizing a bicycle safety rodeo in your community.

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Q.   Where can I call to register a noise complaint?

Depending upon the municipality in which you live, there may be a local noise ordinance that can be enforced by the Sheriff.  Call the non-emergency number for the Sheriff’s Department:  (845) 486-3800.

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Q.   What is my Legislative District?

To find your Legislative District, use the Address Info-Finder ... just enter your address in the appropriate boxes then click on the Report icon to show legislative and other important information pertaining to your address.

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Q.   How can I start a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Chapter in my community?

Visit the SADD website to view more information on starting a chapter in your area as well as upcoming SADD events.  You can also contact your local school district.

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Q.   How do I get a list of state-approved car repair and inspection centers?

All vehicles registered in New York State must pass a safety inspection every 12 months.  The inspection should be done by a DMV-certified inspector at an inspection station licensed by the New York State DMV.

Look in the yellow pages of your telephone directory or click on the following link to access an online phone directory.  Most of the inspection stations listed will be DMV-registered inspection stations (just ask):
  http://www.switchboard.com/.

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Q.   I just moved into the area. How much time is allowed to get my car inspected and registered?

When you move into New York State, you have thirty days in which to have your car inspected and registered.

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Q.   How do I start a Neighborhood Watch in my neighborhood?

Contact the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency to learn about how you can start a Neighborhood Watch Program in your area.

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Q.   What do I tell my children about this offender?

Good communication between parents and children is an important part of family safety.  In general terms tell your children that this person has hurt someone before.  Explain to them that they should stay away from this person.  Review safety tips and be aware of common lures used by sex offenders.  View the following webpage for suggestions:

http://www.childluresprevention.com/parents/tips.asp.

Even though we mean well when we say to our kids, “don’t talk to strangers,” the fact is that most children are sexually abused by someone they already know, be it a family friend, a neighbor, a babysitter, a coach – even a family member. 

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Q.   I'm interested in carpooling, are there any park and ride lots in Dutchess County?

View a list of carpooling/vanpooling locations in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties.  For additional commuter services, visit MetroPool, a free commuter services sponsored by the New York State and Connecticut Departments of Transportation.

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Q.   Where can I ride my ATV?

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, you can ride your ATV:  “Only on your own property as long as the ATV is registered, or on other property with written permission provided the ATV is registered and insured and is outfitted with all proper equipment.”

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Q.   Now that I know about a particular sex offender who lives in my community, are my family & I safe?

Sex offending happens in secrecy.  Community notification removes the veil of secrecy. The purpose of community notification is to reduce the chances of the offender victimizing someone else by increasing neighborhood residents’ awareness of known sex offenders living in their area.   It is also very important to remember that registered sex offenders are only a portion of people who have committed sex offenses who live in our communities.  There are many offenders who have not yet been caught, who are not required to register, or who have completed their registry obligations.

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Q.   Where can I find a place of worship?

The website of YellowPages.com offers a search tool where you can search for Churches Places of Worship by location.

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Q.   When I am on vacation, can someone come by my house and check on it?

Call your local law enforcement agency to see if they have such a program.  See our list of local non-emergency law enforcement agencies for contact information.

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Q.   Where can I find a list of doctors and hospitals in Dutchess County?

Visit our Health Care Facilities and Agencies webpage for a listing of local hospitals.

Click on the link below to find information relating to a physician’s education, practice, legal actions and professional activities:
  http://www.nydoctorprofile.com/welcome.jsp.

Click on the link below to find information regarding Physician Discipline and Professional Misconduct in New York State:
  http://w3.health.state.ny.us/opmc/factions.nsf.

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