NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has launched a new training program in an effort to keep residents safe.

The training will focus on preventing domestic and sexual violence at the hundreds of parks, campgrounds, day-use areas, trails, boat launches, and other public outdoor spaces operated across New York. The departments plan on training staff on how to recognize domestic or sexual violence during their interactions with the public.

The effort is a part of Governor Kathy Hochul’s initiative that was launched last year. According to Governor Hochul, the goal of the initiative is to have NYS become survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive for all victims and survivors. 

“Domestic violence is something I have worked to prevent throughout my entire life, and with my mother, I started a transitional home for survivors and their families,” Governor Hochul said. “As Governor, I will continue to enact policies that not only provide state employees the training they need to help identify instances of domestic violence and help protect survivors but help make New York State a safer place for all.”

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said that the department is focused on making sure people can feel comfortable while traveling to destinations across the state.

“Domestic and sexual violence can happen anywhere, and it is critical that we have staff members who are trained to identify warning signs, respond to incidents and assist survivors who need help.  DEC is proud to join State Parks and the Office of Prevention of Domestic Violence to help prevent these violent acts before a tragedy occurs. With nearly all of our campgrounds opening this weekend, DEC remains committed to making visitors’ stay safe and enjoyable.”

The training will be implemented for employees across the DEC’s 52 campgrounds and fice day-use areas. More information about the training program and effort can be found here.