Sullivan County's top safety official is issuing an ominous warning about the county saying because of the landscape, the area could be a breeding ground for terrorists. Our Meredith Zaritheny has more on how officials there are making sure that doesn't happen.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- "The feds have said from the start you fit in the picture because you can be an incubator or a place where some of these people can experiment and do what they need to do and then come into our populated area," said Richard Martinkovic, Sullivan County Commissioner of Public Safety.
Martinkovic says it’s a real danger that Sullivan County could play host to terrorist activity due to its remote location and number of abandoned buildings.
"We have hunting camps, we have summer camps, we have lake camps and we have a number of farms and all of those locations are secluded in some cases and the perfect place for this type of thing to happen for experiments to be made and within two hours get in a motor vehicle and travel into one of the largest populations in the United States," said Martinkovic.
Martinkovic says the fear is that terrorists or home spun individuals living in our community could decide they want to take some sort of aggressive action against the nation and could experiment explosives chemicals or radiation in the county.
"It is a rural county and there are other counties that are in the same position as us that would be in a proximity to New York City that could put something together and part of the worry is they could take it to New York City, put it together here and then just transport it," said Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff.
Martinkovic is working with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office and other police agencies and the FBI to share information to prevent anything for happening. But he says the public plays an important role too.
"If you see something, don't take it for granted. Say something and I would add if you see something say something now, you know, next week isn't really timely," said Schiff.
Sullivan is part of a consortium with Orange, Ulster and Rockland counties. They regularly discuss and plan for all types of emergencies.
"I have faith, I have faith in the local law enforcement officers here and the cooperation the Sheriff’s department has with the state officials and with the FBI," said Rep. Chris Gibson.