The Coast Guard and the New York State Park Police have formally signed a cooperative agreement to clarify agency roles for operations in the Niagara Falls River. This historic cooperative agreement spells out the roles each agency will play during future operations between Niagara Falls and the whirlpool in the Niagara River gorge.
Capt. Brian Roche, commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, and Maj. David A. Page, commanding officer of the NYSPP Western Region, entered into the cooperative agreement to further enhance coordination of maritime incidents along the Niagara River. The agreement covers a wide range of missions including: search and rescue; maritime law enforcement; ice rescue and pollution response.
“This is a huge step forward,” says Cmdr. Dan Jones, chief of response at Sector Buffalo. “Clarifying roles and formalizing the agreement will really go a long way to ensuring safe operations in the Niagara River.”
The signing of the cooperative agreement represents a unique opportunity to formalize the agency-to-agency cooperation between the Coast Guard and the State Park Police and is intended to define roles and responsibilities for decades to come. The agreement establishes consensus guidelines necessary to succeed over the long-term and will serve as a model for cooperation between New York State Park Police and Coast Guard leaders.