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- Frequently Asked Questions -

Safety

(Includes:Emergency Services, Laws and Regulations, Public Safety/Law Enforcement, Victims Services)




Safety

(Includes:Emergency Services, Laws and Regulations, Public Safety/Law Enforcement, Victims Services)

Q.   If I’ve been raped or engaged in sex without consenting what can I do? Do I have to press charges? Do my parents need to know about it if I am under age 18?

If you are raped or engaged in sex without consenting, help is to be found by calling the police or Crime Victims Assistance Program.  Dutchess County also has a Rape Crisis Hotline, which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and can be reached by calling (845) 452-7272.  Services available include crisis intervention, advocacy, referral information, counseling and accompaniment to the hospital, police and / or court.

No, it is your choice about whether to press charges. 

Generally for a young adult to receive services from the Crime Victims Assistance Program or the Rape Crisis Hotline a parent does not need to be notified.  However, there are some circumstances, about which your parent may need to know.  Talk to the person who is assisting you to see whether your parent needs to know and how this can be handled.

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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.   If I am being abused or neglected by my parent, guardian, or another family member (or want to call to report suspected child abuse) can I make a Child Abuse Report? Where can I get help?

Yes, you can.  The toll free hotline telephone number to make a report is 1-800-342-3720.  Anyone (including the victim) can make a report and the Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  When you call the Hotline you will be asked some questions about the abuse or neglect which has occurred.  You do not have to reveal your name.  A report can be made on behalf of any youth under the age of 18 years.  Once a report is made, it is transmitted to the county (ies) in which the youth and family reside.  An investigation into the allegations on the report commences within 24 hours.  If you are not sure that what has happened is considered abuse or neglect, make the call anyway.  The staff at the Hotline are trained to take the information and make this determination.

There is help available for youth who are being abused or neglected.  In addition to making a hotline report, other options include going to the police or going to a trusted adult such as a family member, teacher, counselor or therapist, doctor, foster parent, friend or case manager for help.  If you are in imminent danger call 911 or call your local police department for help.

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Q.   As a victim of domestic violence, how do I obtain an Order of Protection?

You may file for an Order of Protection in either Criminal Court or Family Court.  To file a petition in Family Court, you may come to 50 Market St., 2nd floor between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Petitions are taken on a first come, first served basis.

For more information contact: Family Court at (845) 486-2500 or Probation at (845) 486-2600.  See also the District Attorney's webpage on Domestic Violence.

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Q.   Where can I get a list of Hotline numbers in Dutchess County?

Click on the following links to access information for general hotline numbers and hotline numbers for victims.

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Q.   If I am the victim of a crime is there any place that can help me?

The Crime Victims Assistance Program offers many kinds of assistance to victims of crime and can be a source of support, advocacy and information.  The Crime Victims Assistance Program 24-Hour Hotline is (845) 452-1110.  See also our Victims' Resources and Services webpage for more information.

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Q.   I am the victim of a crime, how can I obtain information on the offender's custody status?

Victims of crime can immediately learn the custody status of any offender housed in any of New York's county jails or other county correctional facilities. Any victim can register with the Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE to be automatically notified if an offender's custody status should change. This feature eliminates the need for a victim to constantly call the Sheriffs' VICTIM HOTLINE to verify the offender's status.

Call 1-888-VINE-4-NY(1-888-846-3469) from a touch-tone phone and follow the directions.

Other Resources:
VINELink (online version of VINE)
  - https://www.vinelink.com/

New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
  - http://www.doccs.ny.gov/

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Q.   My neighbor's yard is full of junk and trash. What can be done?

You should register this type of complaint with two agencies:

  1. First, call the Environmental Health Services Division of the Dutchess County Department of Health at (845) 486-3404 and ask to speak to the public health sanitarian who handles the municipality where your rental residence is located.

  2. Second, call the building and zoning department for the municipality where your rental residence is located and notify them of the problem.  Click Here for municipal contact information.

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Q.   What is the procedure for buying or selling a handgun?

Any time you make a change to your pistol license, you must fill out a NYS Amendment form. You can also come into the office between the hours of 9:00am and 3:30pm to have this done.   Whether it is a private sale or a sale through a dealer, a receipt must be provided for review by the Pistol Permit Office.  View the Buying and Selling Hand Guns web page to find more detailed information including laws and regulations.

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Q.   I’ve heard that if I am a minor an adult could get in trouble for allowing me to live with them. Is that true?

It may be true depending on the circumstances.

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Q.   How are summer camps and daycare centers regulated?

Summer camps and daycare centers are permitted and inspected by the Environmental Division of the Dutchess County Health Department, in accordance with the New York State and Dutchess County Sanitary Codes.

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Q.   I haven’t been able to pay my rent and my landlord is threatening to evict me. Can he do this?

Yes.

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Q.   What are the requirements to obtain a pistol license?

For information, view the Application for Pistol License page for obtaining the pistol license application as well as information on the application process.

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Q.   What land use regulations affect my property?

Contact the zoning enforcement official of the municipality in which your property is located.

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Q.   How old must I be to live on my own?

You must be 21.

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Q.   What water supplies are regulated?

Water served to 25 people per day at least 60 days out of the year is regulated under the State and County Sanitary Codes. Certain other supplies are also regulated. Check out the definition of Public Water Supply in Part 5-1 (see the Laws, Regulations and Codes webpage). There are some other criteria as well.  See the Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Health Services contacts web page for contact information.

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Q.   What are the laws concerning tobacco use on school grounds and where can I obtain information about school smoking policies?

Call the Dutchess County Department of Health at (845) 486-3404 for information.

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Q.   What should I do if my Pistol License is lost or destroyed?

If you lose your Pistol License or it is destroyed, you need to go to the Dutchess County Clerk's Office (Records Room) and obtain a copy of your original pistol license application.  Bring your application copy to the Pistol Bureau and we will print a new card. There is a $5.00 fee. We accept cash, check or money order.

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Q.   How can I check on the status of my Pistol License application after I submit it?

The processing time for applications is 3-6 months.  If after 6 months you have not recieved an answer via mail, you can call the office at 845-486-3883.  Leave a message with your name, phone number and the date you submitted your application.  A clerk will call you back to discuss your application with you. You may also stop in during business hours to inquire. This information cannot be given out via e-mail.

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Q.   Where can I get information on the tobacco laws in Dutchess County and in New York State?

For information on local and state laws regarding tobacco use, visit our web page that contains related links -or- contact the Dutchess County Department of Health at (845) 486-3404.

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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.   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.   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 report people who send me e-mail scams? For instance, I have received e-mails from people claiming that they are from Nigeria and need my financial assistance.

Forward these messages, including the message headers, to the Secret Service at the following email address:  419.fcd@usss.treas.gov.

Visit the Secret Service’s website to find out more information about this and investigations into other types of criminal activities.

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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.   How do I find out if someone has a criminal record?

There are certain circumstances under which you can find out if someone has a criminal record in New York State, and there are several ways to go about the process.

For example, if the individual you are seeking information on has been an inmate in a New York State correctional facility, then information on the crime, sentence and release date is public record in most cases (exceptions include youthful offenders).  The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will provide this information: click Here to access their website.

Crime victims and all other New Yorkers can also make toll-free calls to get information about convicted felony offenders in the custody of the DOCCS through Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE), which is available around the clock.  The VINE phone number is 1-888-846-3469. Click Here to view specific instructions on using VINE.

Furthermore, there a certain instances where employers are required by law to perform a background check on potential employees, and there are also instances where an employer may perform a background check with the consent of the individual in question.  For example, under “Kieran’s Law,” parents can forward the fingerprints of a prospective childcare provider to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for a criminal background search.

For additional information about criminal background checks, click on the following link to access the website of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

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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.   When is a person considered legally intoxicated while driving?

In New York State, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for legal intoxication while driving is .08%.

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Q.   Where is the nearest child car seat inspection station in my community?

View our list of child car seat safety check locations in Dutchess County.  To locate child car seat inspection stations and certified technicians throughout New York State, visit the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website at:  http://www.safeny.ny.gov/.

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Q.   How can I find out about hunter safety training?

A list of Sportsman Education Classes held within each New York State County that contains dates, times and contact information is published on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.  Click Here to access this 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.   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.   Who do I call to report an incident of illegal hunting?

Depending upon the urgency and the level of danger involved, either call the non-emergency contact number for your local law enforcement agency, or if the situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1.  An emergency is any situation that to preserve life or property, immediate response by emergency medical agencies, fire or police is required.

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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.   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.   Are there any differences in how sex offenders are classified on the Registry?

Some states use a tiered system of classifying registered sex offenders according to their risk of re-offense, while other states don’t differentiate between different risk levels. 

New York State uses a tiered system, which puts sex offenders into one of three tiers or levels.  A court determines whether an offender is a Level 1, 2, or 3.  Level 1 offenders are considered to be low risk to re-offend.  Level 2 offenders are considered to a moderate risk to commit a new sex offense.  Level 3 offenders are considered to a high risk to re-offend. Courts in New York also decide if an offender should be designated a sexual predator, sexually violent offender or predicate sex offender. 

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Q.   What are the regulations regarding campfires and bonfires?

Outdoor burning may require a DEC permit or a municipal permit; it depends upon the municipality and the location.*  To find out if a permit is required in the area where you want to have an open fire, contact both the DEC Regional Office (Dutchess County is in Region 3) and the municipality in which you want to have the fire.  Click Here for municipal contact information.

For more information regarding open burning, click visit the DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4261.html.

* Open burning is prohibited within incorporated villages and cities.

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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 are the regulations regarding pesticide application?

Click Here to access the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s webpage regarding pesticides that includes links to FAQs about New York State's Pesticide Program and other helpful information.

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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.   How can I access the Attorney General’s database of FAQs?

The website of the New York State Attorney General provides the answers to frequently asked legal questions.  Click Here to access this information.

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Q.   Where can I find the location of and the laws regarding watershed areas, wetlands, protected lands and state-owned lands?

To find information and regulations about New York State's lakes, rivers, watershed areas, wetlands and open space areas, visit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Lands and Waters webpage.

It should be noted that some towns, cities and villages may also regulate wetlands and watersheds and may even map them. This is in addition to the state requirements. The federal government (Corps of Engineers) can also get involved in wetland regulations.

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Q.   What are the New York State regulations regarding fishing and hunting?

Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s webpages regarding hunting and fishing information and regulations.

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Q.   When does the deer-hunting season begin and end?

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation maintains a webpage that contains information regarding season dates, how to calculate dates for future seasons, links to regulations and other helpful information.  Click Here to access this page.

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Q.   What are the regulations regarding inoperative and/or unregistered vehicles on private property?

Some municipalities in Dutchess County have ordinances regulating the storage of unregistered vehicles on private property.  Contact the municipality where the vehicle is located to find out what the ordinances are.  Click Here for municipality contact information.

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Q.   What are the regulations regarding dirt bikes, ATVs, and snowmobiles?

For more information on regulations for dirt bikes, mopeds, ATVs, snowmobiles and motorized scooters, visit New York State Department of Motor Vehicle's Frequently Asked Questions.

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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.   Do I need to register my boat?

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you are required "...to register any boat that is motor-driven and is operated on public waterways in NYS. The boat requires a registration even if the motor is not the primary source of propulsion. If you operate the boat in NYS, you must register the boat with the DMV."

Click Here to access the NYS DMV webpage for frequently asked questions regarding boat registration that includes links to the forms required for registration, cost, and other information.  

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Q.   How can I report a zoning violation?

Contact the zoning administrator or code enforcement officer in the municipality in which zoning violation has occurred.

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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.   Can I operate my ATV on State lands or on State truck trails?

Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Map Collection webpage to find information regarding the use of ATV's on specific state-owned areas and properties.

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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.   What are the regulations regarding the wearing of gloves and hats/hairnets in food service facilities?

Per Section 14-4.90 of the New York State Sanitary Code:

“Food is to be prepared and served with no bare hand contact unless the food will be subsequently heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) or greater for foods that were not previously heated or to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.9 degrees Celsius) or greater for foods that are being heated for a second or subsequent time.  Convenient and suitable utensils and/or sanitary gloves are to be provided and used to prepare or serve food to eliminate bare hand contact and prevent contamination.  Waxed paper, napkins or equivalent barrier to prevent hand contact may be used to serve food.”

Per Section 14-1.72 of the New York State Sanitary Code:

“All persons within a food service establishment who work in areas where food is prepared are to use hats, caps or hair nets as restraints which minimize hair contact with hands, food and food-contact surfaces.”

Click Here to access more of the New York State Sanitary Code.

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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.   Where can I call if I think my child has ingested something poisonous?

Call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.  The Upstate New York Poison Center is a component of the State University of New York Upstate Medical University Hospital's Department of Emergency Medicine, and is a telephone service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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Q.   Are the emergency services in my town staffed by volunteers?

Contact your local emergency service organization to find out who it is staffed by.  The following webpages list contact information for local Emergency Medical Service Providers and for Fire Departments in Dutchess County.

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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.   Who can I call to report Social Services fraud?

Call the Department of Social Services Fraud Hotline 1-800-936-3728.

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Q.   What if I’m under 21 and my parents are willing to let me live with them, but I want to leave? Is my parent still responsible for me? What if it’s a bad environment with drugs or domestic violence?

Wanting to leave and needing to leave are different. If you are under 21 and "want" to leave, the Department of Social Services (60 Market St., Poughkeepsie, NY)will not provide you with the assistance to do so. The Department will deny you assistance and suggest that you return to your parents. If you are under 21 and "need" to leave due to a bad living situation such as drugs or domestic violence, the Department will refer you to its Children's Services Unit (845) 486-3012 to assess your claim and assist you in any locating alternate supportive housing. In most cases the Department will not set you up in a private apartment while you are under 21. 

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Q.   I know a senior who is being abused by their relative. Whom should I call?

Contact Protective Services for Adults. Phone: (845) 486-3300.
For more information on the warning signs of elder abuse, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse Frequently Asked Questions.

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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 do I file a PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) complaint?

An appointment to file a PINS complaint against a youth under the age of 18 for incorrigibility, ungovernability or truancy may be made by calling the Probation Department at 486-2600.

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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.   If I’m being physically or sexually abused or threatened by someone outside of my household where can I go for help? How old do I need to be to press charges against someone?

The police are the first and foremost resource for anyone being abused or threatened by someone outside of the victim’s household. Some of the police contacts in Dutchess County include the following:
 
 NYS Police Troop K Barracks           677-7300
 Dutchess County Sheriff’s Dept.       486-3800
 City of Poughkeepsie Police Dept.    451-4000
 Town of Poughkeepsie Police Dept.   485-3660
 City of Beacon Police Dept.              831-4111
 Town of Hyde Park Police Dept.        229-2931

If you have an emergency situation or are in danger of being harmed by someone else, you should dial “911” on the telephone to reach an emergency response dispatcher.

Anyone can make a police report.  However, to sign a complaint so the police can take action, you need to be eighteen years old.  If you are under age eighteen, your parent must sign for you.

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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.   How old do you have to be to get help from Adult Protective Services? What kind of help do they provide? How does one apply for such help?

Adult Protective Services offers assistance to people 18 years of age and older.  There are three criteria for getting assistance; the adult must have a physical or mental impairment, must have at least one or more un-met need and have no one else available to responsibly assist them in meeting the need.

Adult Protective Services offers many types of assistance including case management and advocacy services, financial management and help with housing issues.

To make a referral for Adult Protective Services, a call should be made to the Department of Social Services in the county in which the client resides.  In Dutchess County the number to call is (845) 486-3300. After a referral is accepted, an assessment is completed to determine whether the client meets the eligibility criteria and requires on going assistance.  Assistance may be given during the assessment period to resolve the presenting problem(s) or to connect the client to other appropriate services in the community.  At the conclusion of the assessment period, which can take up to 60 days, the case will either be closed or opened for on going case management and advocacy services.

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Q.   What if I’m being physically or verbally abused or feel threatened by a boy friend/girl friend?

If you are being abused or feel threatened by a boyfriend or girlfriend, there are several places to go for help, including the police.  Other agencies in the Dutchess County area where help can be found include:

Crime Victims Assistance Program of Family Services - 452-1110
Battered Women's Services of Family Services - 24-hour hotline 485-5550
Grace Smith House - 471-3033

If you have a Department of Social Services case manager, he or she can help you get the assistance you need.  Remember, the first step to getting help is to tell someone about the abusive or threatening situation.  If you stay quiet hoping these things will change, the situation is likely to just continue or get worse.

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Q.   How can I obtain a copy of a police report?

Call your local law enforcement agency and ask about their procedure for obtaining a copy of a police report.  Visit our webpage that contains a list of non-emergency law enforcement telephone numbers.

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Q.   If I suspect my neighbor is doing something illegal, who should I call?

Visit our list of non-emergency law enforcement telephone numbers that you can call for your area.

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Q.   How do I become a volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County?

Visit our Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County web page to access information on volunteer training courses and registration forms.

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Q.   How can I apply for assistance with property or income damage due to the recent flooding?

Dutchess County residents who have experienced property or income damage due to flooding can apply for assistance in the following ways:

  • Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
  • (TTY) 1-800-462-7585
  • Register anytime online at http://www.fema.gov/.
    Click on “Apply for Assistance” in the top menu bar.

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Q.   What is the CDC Clinical Information Service?

The CDC Clinical Information Service is part of the 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) Contact Center, a resource for clinical information and material covering CDC health-related topics.  800-CDC-INFO  is a 24/7/365 toll-free telephone information system for clinicians and the public to facilitate the rapid dissemination of bioterrorism information, natural disaster updates, and the latest on emerging diseases.

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Q.   Where can I find information on emergency preparedness and terrorism?

Visit the Information Resources webpage under Emergency Services for links to information from other agencies regarding emergency preparedness and specific terrorism agents and threats.

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Q.   Where can I find information about becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)?

To qualify for certification as a New York State Certified First Responder (CFR) or Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B), the applicant must meet certain requirements.  For more information, visit New York State Department of Health's General Requirements for Certification (.pdf)

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