Where is Rye, anyway?The City of Rye is situated on the shore of Long Island Sound, North of New York City and South of the State of Connecticut. There is approximately 14 miles of coastline, due to the irregular shape of the geography.
The city maintains a Marine Unit staffed by a police officer and 5 seasonal Bay Constables. New training and procedures were put into place to enhance the services rendered by the unit to the boating public. The Bay Constables received navigational training conducted by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, which included GPS and radar skills; man overboard procedures and basic chart reading. In service search and rescue training has been conducted with Stamford Police, Greenwich, Port Chester and Village of Mamaroneck.
Police Officer Mauricio Gomez was assigned command of the unit in the spring of 2018. Officer Gomez is a 17 year veteran of the Rye Police Department. Officer Gomez attended and successfully completed the NY State Marine Law Enforcement School and Marine Patrol Vessel Operator Course. He is a NY State certified police instructor and is currently a member of the departments training staff. .
Our Bay Constables
What are bay constables and what do they do?
At the present time there are approximately 150 bay constables in N.Y. State, all of them in the Southeast part of the state, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties. In the early 1800s in the eastern towns of Long Island, bay constables were elected to two year terms to protect the shell fish beds on the Great Southbay. In 1982, for the purpose of enforcement of the conservation laws related to fish and wild life and water fowl hunting, the position of Bay constable was created by the Rye City Council. A bay constable has the same authority and powers as a N.Y.S. Econ Officer.
Seasonal Bay Constables are assigned to the Marine Unit. They come from diverse back grounds and boast a bevy of talents.
Bay Constable Bruce Caldwell is the former Harbor Master of Port Chester NY and is senior bay constable to the Rye Marine Unit. Caldwell is also a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain holding a 50 gross ton license with towing endorsement. He has successfully completed the NY State Marine Law Enforcement School and emergency vessel operator’s course. BC Caldwell has over 39 years experience navigating the Long Island Sound waters and is a certified emergency medical technician.
Bay Constable Lawrence Miano is a graduate of the Rockland County Police Academy. BC Miano has been with the marine unit since 2006. He successfully completed the NY State Marine Law Enforcement School in 2008 and Marine Patrol Vessel Operator Course in 2009. He is a certified emergency medical technician.
Bay Constable Tony Casinelli is retired from the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department. He has over 20 years of boating experience on Long Island Sound. He was a CPR and First Aid instructor at the Westchester County Police Academy and served as the Village of a Mamaroneck PBA President for 6 years.
Bay Constable Felix Carcano worked with Mamaroneck Village PD in their Marine Unit for 8 years. Carcano also has a US Coast Guard Captain's license for 20 plus years. He is also a trained Maritime accident investigator.
The Unit responds to emergencies on the sound and is responsible for enforcement of NYS Conservation Law and navigation law, as well as City of Rye Statutes relating to the waterways of the city.
Boats and Equipment
The Rye Police Marine Unit presently operates 3 patrol craft and 1 marine patrol truck. The primary craft, (Rye PB-1) is a 2670 Glacier Bay Twin Hull catamaran, powered by twin four stroke 150 Yamaha engines. PB 1 is fully equipped for search and rescue missions. GPS, radar, first aid equipment, night vision, an underwater camera with monitor and tactical gear are some of the equipment carried on the vessel. The twin hull design provides the operators with stability and enables them to operate in seas up to 10'.
The second vessel, (Rye PB-2) is a 2013 Boston Whaler vessel powered by twin Mercury outboard engines and is used primarily for environmental conservation and navigational enforcement. It is equipped with GPS, first aid equipment and other gear.
The third vessel is a 12' Mercury inflatable that is kept on a trailer at the ready, 24/7 in a closed garage. The inflatable is used primarily for a emergency rescue craft, ( see season highlights for more on Rye PB-3 and it's attributes) but is also used for special enforcement, triathlons and other charity swims. PB-3 also has safety and rescue equipment. "The versatility of the craft makes it our most valuable police vessel and has paid for itself a number of times" said Rye Police Commissioner William R. Connors. The ability to launch it in areas that are not accessible by a boat ramp make it indispensable. It contributed to many rescues during the floods of 2007 and super storm of 2012.
PB-1 was officially commissioned on July 18th 2001 in a ceremony at the Rye Municipal Marina. The mayor, Rye city council, boat basin supervisor Peter Fox, City Manager Julie Novak and Police Commissioner William R. Connors, were all on hand to commission Rye's new patrol boat in honor of retired Rye Police Chief William E. Hagele for whom the vessel is named after. Chief Hagele and many of his former police officers and family were on hand for the ceremony.
A gold plaque that reads "Chief William E. Hagele" Commissioned July 18th, 2001 adorns the cockpit area of the PB-1.
New rescue and navigation equipment was also installed this year:
This vessel is equipped with a Garmin Global Positioning System, or GPS for short. The GPS aids the vessel operators in navigating in low or no light and heavy fog conditions were visibility is severely restricted. Aside from it's chart capabilities, the GPS also shows True compass courses, speed over ground or MPH and a sonar read out of the depth below the vessel and a picture of the sea floor. A new Home light pump with fire fighting capabilities was also purchased and installed on PB-1 .
The new light weight Home Light replaces an old, large fire department hand me down pump that had only operated intermittently. The pump was used numerous times during the year to assist boaters in trouble.
Boating Law Enforcement
The waters of Long Island Sound located around the City of Rye belong to N.Y.S. and the N.Y.S. Navigation Law authorizes The City of Rye to adopt laws which can control boating traffic, moorings, littering, and pollution control. These laws can only be enforced up to 1/4 or a mile (1,500 ft) off the entire shore line of the City of Rye. Section 40 of the N.Y.S. navigation law deals with vessels and required safety equipment. This section deals with personnel floatation devices (life jackets), distress flags, flares and fire extinguishers. All of these are required pieces of life saving equipment. These laws are strictly enforced by the Bay Constables whenever we do a vessel boarding (boating safety check).
The Marine Patrol Units are fully equipped (radar, loran, communication and firefighting equipment) to perform search and rescue missions in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies.
The Rye Marine Unit is part of the Western Long Island Sound Task Force for search, rescue and law enforcement which is coordinated by the U.S. Coast guard Station at Eatons Neck.
The unit also addresses complaints of persons violating the environmental conservation laws and has affected several arrests via appearance tickets to combat the problems.
If you have or request more information on the city's marine unit, contact the police station by phone at (914) 967-1234 or e-mail PDMarine@ryepd.ryeny.gov.