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Lawmaker calls for police presence at Squantz Pond Memorial Day Weekend

A local lawmaker says State Police Troopers are not scheduled to police Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield this Memorial Day Weekend.  State Senator Mike McLachlan has written to State Police at the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection saying that if this is true, it's unacceptable. 

 

With the unofficial start of the summer season, it's one of the busiest times at Squantz Pond and can fill to capacity very quickly. 

 

McLachlan says State Police need to ensure the safety of all beach goers and swimmers.  If there is no law enforcement present, McLachlan says the park should be closed.  If the park remains open with none, he says the local 911 system will be clogged whenever there is a security issue.

 

Environmental Conservation Officers will be at the parks and visible this weekend.

 

A few years back, DEEP put more controls on parking to try to control crowds in the wake of several drowning deaths.  When the 250 car limit is reached, visitors are turned away.  DEEP has been working with the town and state to make sure it's handled in an orderly fashion.

 

Spokesman Dennis Schain says their jurisdiction stops at the end of the park, so they aren't in charge of traffic or law and order outside Squantz Pond.  He says State Police have been available to address that in the past, and are aware of this need.