Keeping Clarkstown Safe

By Maria Mirakaj Brownsell

Clarkstown’s latest Town Board Workshop meeting was very brief. The meeting opened up with the monthly police report with details of tickets, car accidents, and other police matter by Captain Anthony Ovchinnikoff. Afterwards was scheduled to be a presentation by Dan Duthie on Clarkstown Lighting District, but Duthie was a no show. The presentation will be rescheduled to a later date.

Last month at the Palisades Center Plaza, a woman was approached by a sexual predator. The incident occurred at the store, Gilly Hicks, where the suspect ejaculated on the woman’s clothing. The same situation occurred at a mall in Paramus in May and is thought to be the same suspect. The suspect is said to be a Hispanic male and was caught on tape, but has not been identified. The Clarkstown Police department warns all to be on the lookout for any unusual behavior and to report anything suspicious right away.

Captain Ovchinnikoff stressed the importance of a current program, Project Lifesaver. This is a search and rescue program that is targeted to children or adults with cognitive disabilities such as autism, Alzheimer’s, and dementia that may wander off and get lost. A transmitter bracelet is worn on the person with the disability and if they are ever lost, experts can use electronic tracking equipment to find their location. Each bracelet has its own unique frequency that can be traced the missing individual. With the program, if the person goes missing, all the pertinent information will be available for police officers much faster.

Recently two individuals were missing in Westchester, said Ovchinnikoff. Neither had any sort of tracking system. One was found deceased and the other not found at all.

The bracelets are available through the Clarkstown Police Department. The program started in Clarkstown in May of 2010. There are about 20 individuals currently enrolled in the program. The bracelet must be checked daily for battery issues and keep in contact with the police department. If the caregiver notices the individual is missing, they must call 911 right away.