In a press release today, Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond warned of shooting birds around phone lines.

As a result of recent damages to fiber optics cables in the county, Delaware County Sheriff Craig S. DuMond and the management of the Delhi and Margaretville Telephone Companies remind everyone that shooting at birds or animals on utility lines, as well as target shooting in the area of those utility lines, will very likely result in damages to the fiber optic cables and other critical telecommunications infrastructure. Damages to this infrastructure often leads to widespread and prolonged disruption of critical telecommunication infrastructure.

Although these damages are often unintended and you may not observe any immediate evidence of damage, the internal damage may lead to service interruptions effecting critical telecommunications services. These services include E-911; emergency two-way radio communications used by fire department, EMS and law enforcement agencies; critical Ethernet and broadband circuits; television emergency alert systems; emergency cellular back-haul circuits; as well as residential and business internet, telephone and television.

The repair costs and liabilities resulting from “loss-of-service” fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars per incident. Most importantly, these repair costs are a chargeable event to the entity or person(s) responsible and may even lead to criminal prosecution.

To help ensure that critical communications and emergency services are continuously maintained for you and your community, please be responsible and utilize due care when discharging a firearm to ensure that these telecommunications lines are not damaged.

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