DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police kick off National Safe Boating Week May 18-24

Partnership announced to provide loaner life jackets to boaters

DOVER – With the 2019 summer season and ideal weather ahead, many boaters will soon be heading out on the water. DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Office of Boating Safety & Education encourages boaters to practice safe boating, not just during National Safe Boating Week from May 18-24 – but throughout the year.

Delaware, which consistently has one of the lowest boating accident rates in the country, had 36 reported boating accidents and two fatalities last year. This year, there have been two reported boating accidents to date and no related fatalities in the state.

Statistics support the vital role of wearing life jackets in keeping boaters safe. In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 76 percent of all boating-related fatalities nationwide were drowning victims, with 84.5 percent of those victims not wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

To further promote boaters to wear life jackets, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will be kicking off a Life Jacket Loaner Program in partnership with Sea Tow Foundation, starting May 20. As an alternative to ending someone’s voyage on Delaware waterways when found to not have the required life jackets, officers will have loaner life jackets in sizes from Infant to Adult XL onboard their patrol vessels for the public to borrow and return.

“We’re excited to partner with the Sea Tow Foundation to make this Life Jacket Loaner Program available to boaters in our area,” said Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte. “This will help ensure that boaters of all ages have proper-fitting life jackets, which will go a long way toward keeping people safe while they’re out enjoying the beautiful waterways of Delaware.”

For more information, including Delaware’s boating safety course schedule and the online Delaware Boating Handbook, click Delaware Boating Safety, or contact Boating Safety & Education Coordinator Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at 302-739-9913 or email brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Media contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-382-7167, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 49, No. 125

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DOJ seeks outside counsel, expertise for environmental investigation and possible legal action

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Friday that the Department of Justice is asking private law firms to submit competitive bids to be appointed as special counsel in connection with an investigation and possible court proceedings involving violations of environmental laws pertaining to hazardous substances, wastewater, and ground contamination.

“The people of this state are as entitled to environmental justice as they are to public safety, to civil rights, and to freedom from predatory business practices,” said Attorney General Jennings. “If we learn that Delaware’s environmental laws have been violated then we will seek action to hold accountable those who jeopardize our health and our communities.”

DOJ’s Request for Proposals contains detailed provisions to ensure fairness, competitiveness, and transparency and appropriate State control over any decision to initiate or resolve litigation.

The RFP states that “retention will include significant evaluative and investigative preparatory work and may require the retention of scientific experts in the field of geology, environmental engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, clinical toxicology, or other related disciplines.”

The RFP requires that work is done on a contingency fee basis so that it does not involve the use of State funds. Bids are due on Friday, June 14.


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 6-12

Reminder for the week: Paddle boards are vessels too – and boating regulations apply

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 6-12 made 2,183 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters, and the general public, issuing 26 citations. Officers responded to 39 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On May 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered questions regarding hunting, fishing and boating, and displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer during the annual Casting with Cops event at Glasgow Park in Newark.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Possession of undersized white perch (16), no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (1), unlicensed fishing (3)*, and possession of over-the-limit crab pots (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (2).

Other: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*.

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, boaters, and hunters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, boating, and wildlife violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind stand up paddle boarders to review Delaware’s boating laws and regulations and how they apply to paddle boards before heading out on the waterways. In recent years, the sport of stand up paddle boarding has grown in popularity, with stand up paddle boarders often seen on many of Delaware’s waterways throughout the summertime.

The United States Coast Guard and the state of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when it is operated outside the confines of a surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices, and the use of a navigational light between sunset and sunrise apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.

A paddle board must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters:

  • All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board.
  • Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while on a paddle board.
  • Paddle boarders must carry a whistle or horn, or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light ready at hand for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including more details on life jackets and other safety equipment, please visit www.de.gov/boatsafety.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913


Delaware Recognizes Supervised Visitation Awareness Month through Toy Drive, Wearing Orange

NEW CASTLE (May 15, 2019) – During Supervised Visitation Awareness Month, the Department of Health and Social Services’ Office of Community Services is conducting a toy drive to provide new toys, books and games for use at Delaware’s six Family Visitation Centers (FVCs). Through June 10, drop-off bins will be located at all State Service Centers, as well as the Charles Debnam and DHSS’ Main Administration buildings, both located on the Herman Holloway Campus near New Castle. Physical donation drop-off address locations can be found by visiting the DHSS/Division of State Service Centers (DSSC) website:
https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dssc/ofclocations.html

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Over half of the killings of American women are related to intimate partner violence.” However, despite the availability of programs and resources intended to provide supervised visitation and safe exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse or stalking, awareness of the importance of these services is still lacking.

For more than 20 years, Delaware’s Family Visitation Centers (FVC) program has provided a safe, structured, and nurturing environment where children can maintain or re-establish a relationship with a non-residential parent, and help keep children, adult victims and other parties in cases of intimate partner violence safe during exchanges and visitation. DHSS’ Division of State Service Centers administers this program on a contractual basis with CHILD, Inc. (New Castle), and Turning Point at People’s Place II, Inc. (Kent and Sussex). During State Fiscal Year 2018, 285 families were served statewide by the FVCs. The centers facilitated 1,479 monitored exchanges, 2,137 individual supervised visits, and 1,668 group supervised visits.

Family Visitation Centers are used when Family Court or the Division of Family Services has determined that the use of such a center is appropriate; a family may be experiencing or has a history of intimate partner violence; or the parents have had a history of hostile or violent arguments during the pickup and return of their children. Parents may choose to use the centers voluntarily or be referred by Family Court, the Department of Health and Social Services, attorneys, victim services or other agencies. The centers do not make recommendations about changes in custody or the appropriateness of changing visitation arrangements.

In efforts to prevent or reduce intimate partner violence in Delaware, the Office of Community Services in partnership with the Family Courts and members of the Family Visitation Steering Committee began awareness outreach for Supervised Visitation Awareness (SVA) Month on May 1, 2019 by providing:

• Family Visitation Center Program SVA Information Cards with Orange Pins
• A Statewide Donation Drive
• A “Call to Action,” asking to show support for Supervised Visitation Awareness Month by wearing orange ribbons and/or an orange item on May 17, 2019.

SVA information cards with orange pins can be picked up at all of Delaware’s State Service Centers. Teams and community members wearing orange are encouraged to take pictures and post them on social media platforms using these hashtags: #SafetyFirst #AllLivesMatter #Awareness #SupervisedVisitation.

New children’s toys, books and game donations are being requested to help support families serviced at the six Family Visitation Centers. Location Drop: Donations can be made until June 10 to bins at the State Service Centers, and at the Main Administration and Charles Debnam buildings on the Herman M. Holloway Sr. Campus. Drop-off location addresses and phone numbers can be found on our website at:
https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dssc/ofclocations.html

Today, there are six Family Visitation Centers open evenings, weekends and holidays. Hours vary by center. Fees are determined by income, and are as low as $4, excluding the Middletown Safe Haven Center. The centers are accessible via public transportation.
For specific items, and or information on referrals, and/or appointments please see agency contact below.

Family Visitation Locations and Contact Information

NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Contact: CHILD, Inc.:
(302) 283-7518
www.childinc.com

Center: Belvedere State Service Center
310 Kiamensi Road
Wilmington, DE 19804

Center: Hudson State Service Center
501 Ogletown Road
Newark, DE 19711

Center: Safe Haven Center
210 Cleaver Farm Road
Middletown, DE 19709

KENT COUNTY
Contact: Turning Point at People’s Place II, Inc.
(302) 424-2420
www.peoplesplace2.com

Center: Dover Center
165 Commerce Way
Dover, DE 19904

Center: Milford State Service Center
13 S.W. Front Street
Milford, DE 19963

SUSSEX COUNTY
Contact: Turning Point at People’s Place II, Inc.
(302) 424-2420
www.peoplesplace2.com

Center: Adams State Service Center
546 South Bedford Street
Georgetown, DE 19947

Funding to operate five of the Family Visitation Centers is provided by the General Assembly and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, and grants to States Access and Visitation Program. Funding for the sixth Family Visitation Center in Middletown is provided by grant #2012-CW-AX-K025 awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Note: The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this website/publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.

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The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of life of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.


Drug Take-Back Day Event Collects 5,385 Pounds of Unwanted Or Expired Medications

DOVER (May 15, 2019) – During the 18th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on April 27, 2019, Delaware collected 5,385 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Division of Public Health (DPH). That amount is approximately 1,600 pounds more than the 3,739 pounds collected in October. Since the first event in May 2010, Delaware has collected a total of 90,291 pounds of unwanted or expired medicine.

In addition to the 24 drop-off locations open to the public on April 27, there are also 21 permanent medication drop-off locations throughout the state. DPH officials say the increase in collections can be attributed to the cumulative efforts of the permanent drug collection sites, which turned in their medications collected over several months to the DEA on the day of the event.

“We appreciate all of the participants that take part in this biannual event, including not only the public, but also state and local law enforcement agencies,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Holding these events and giving residents a safe place to dispose of their prescription drugs will continue to decrease the risk of drug misuse and substance use disorder, as drug experimentation often begins at home. However we continue to encourage Delawareans to take advantage of the permanent prescription drug drop box locations and not feel that they have to wait for the next event to come around.”

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Since January 1, 2019, there have been 84 suspected overdose deaths in the state. In 2018, 400 Delawareans died from drug overdoses, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

DPH urges Delawareans to keep medications locked away and to drop them off at a permanent drug collection location when they are no longer wanted, necessary or have expired.

For recommendations on handling unwanted or expired prescription drugs, contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539. If you were unable to participate in the April 27 event, you can still dispose of your prescription medication at one of Delaware’s 21 permanent drug disposal sites. View the list of sites at https://www.helpisherede.com/Get-Help/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Box.

The cumulative collections from the biannual Delaware Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events are:

May 14, 2010: 1,680 lbs.
September 25, 2010: 303 lbs.
April 30, 2011: 4,395 lbs.
October 29, 2011: 4,465 lbs.
April 28, 2012: 6,808 lbs.
September 29, 2012: 4,561 lbs.
April 27, 2013: 6,122 lbs.
October 26, 2013: 5,258 lbs.
April 26, 2014: 6,476 lbs.
September 27, 2014: 4,707 lbs.
September 12, 2015: 7,227 lbs.
April 30, 2016: 7,684 lbs.
October 22, 2016: 6,059 lbs.
April 29, 2017: 5,211 lbs.
October 28, 2017: 5,518 lbs.
April 28, 2018: 4,693 lbs.
October 27, 2018: 3,739 lbs.
April 27, 2019: 5,385 lbs.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.