National Night Out 2016

Photo by Nicole Gugino OBSERVER City Editor

Photo by Nicole Gugino OBSERVER City Editor                                           From left to right: Officer Shane Carlson, Chief David Ortolano, Lt. Mark Timmerman, Councilwoman Stacy Szukala

On Tuesday August 2nd   the City of Dunkirk will be joining 30 million other citizens from over 9000 communities nationwide in celebrating National Night Out. This is the 23rd   year that the Dunkirk Police Department is sponsoring Night Out in the City of Dunkirk.

National Night Out is designed to give strength to neighborhood crime and drug prevention efforts and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and not afraid to fight back. Our National Night Out program is directly correlated to our neighborhood watch programs that are active throughout the community. nextdoor

On Tuesday August 2nd   citizens in Dunkirk will be locking their doors, turning their lights on and spending the evening with their neighbors, Police Officers, Firefighters and City Officials.  Again this year we will have one centralized Night Out location at Washington Park. This will be the fifth year we have done the central location and we encourage everyone to come to Washington Park for the evening. Our mcgruffcoordinators will be working together on this event and we ask that anyone who can assist to please come to the Park before the event begins to help with set up. Also as in the past we also appreciate anyone who can to bring a desert to pass. The coordinators, who are the same dedicated citizens who work on our neighborhood watch program, donate a tremendous amount of time and work to this program every year, my hat is off to them as they make it all happen. The coordinators along with the support of the local businesses who donate to our program truly make Night Out the success that it is.

The Police Department will be at Washington Park during the evening with patrol cars, McGruff the crime dog you can meet our K-9 Nico as well. Everyone from our Senior

K9 Officer Matt Hazelton with K9 Nico

K9 Officer Matt Hazelton with K9 Nico

Citizens down to small children will have the opportunity to meet and interact with our Police Officers, this emphasizes the importance of the Police community partnership and pride in the community and allow for positive interaction between our citizens and our Police Officers. Also participating again this year will be the Dunkirk Fire Department. The Fire Department has joined forces with us and their participation is a huge success, it is important to show that we all are committed to making our community a safe place. The interaction between the Police Officers, Firefighters, City Officials and community residents build positive relationships that will benefit the entire community.

As an added bonus again this year we will have music by Nick and Andy and we have coordinated with the Recreation Department to have the Movie in the Park series at dusk to cap off our Night Out event. This year the movie will be Zootopia. We will have picnic tables to sit on or you can bring a blanket or lawn chair to the Park to sit on and enjoy the Movie.

***Again this years celebration will be held at Washington Park and we encourage everyone from all Wards of the City to attend. Night Out celebration will start at about 6:30PM with our usual activities and then cap off the night with a movie in the park featuring Zootopia at dusk (approx. 8:30PM).

zootopia**Washington Ave. will be barricaded between Fifth and Sixth Streets and Fifth Street will be barricaded from Washington Ave. to Park Ave. to allow those attending Night Out a place to park. There is also plenty of parking in the surrounding area around Washington Park for everyone to attend the celebration.

Also as a reminder the coordinators could use a little extra help and we ask anyone with a few minutes to show up a little early and help with set up or stay a few minutes afterwards and help with clean up. We also stress that parents do not send their children alone to the events, this program in devised to show the children the importance of the community working together.

A strong Police/Community partnership within the community is the best weapon we have in keeping our City safe. It only takes a few minutes of time to get out and get involved and make a difference in the community. We have seen a very large change in the program over the years and more families are becoming involved, that is what this program is all about. As the program grows so does our commitment to working together to keep the community safe.

The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support and dedication over the years. Our many thanks to Tops Markets – manager Jay Knavel, WalMart-manager Brad Balentine, Southpaw Signs- Cody Britton,  P&G Foods- Gary and Patty Damico,  Paper Factory- Bruce & Ann Mulkin, Save A Lot- Kevin Connelly, McDonalds Restaurant, G&E Tents- Bob Bankowski & Bob Karin, Music by Nick&Andy, Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak, Awesome Bouncers – Jason Genovese, Atlas Comfort Cabins – Roger Gloss and Dave & Gina Kron from Tim Hortons. Many of these sponsors have been part of National Night Out for a very long time and they donate services, food & refreshment items or financial support for our program, we could not have the success we do without their support.  A special thanks to WDOE/96KIX FM , Access 12, The Observer, the City Administration and our DPW and Parks Departments for all their support over the years. We are truly lucky to have the entire community take part in this event, together we will continue to make a difference one neighborhood at a time.


Gunshot Complaint

The Dunkirk Police Department responded to a report of a possible victim with a gunshot wound at 544 S. Roberts Road at approx. 10:25 PM Monday evening. A 4 year old victim was treated by Dunkirk Fire/Rescue and transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital where he was treated and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Buffalo with non life threatening injuries. The investigation revealed that apparently a child was playing with a gun and it discharged.

The investigation is ongoing with the cooperation of the District Attorney’s Office and charges are pending upon the completion.News release photo

733 Park Ave Residential Burglary Arrest

Jorge M. Negron-Velaquez

Jorge M. Negron-Velazquez

On July 24th, 2016, at about 5:50 AM, the Dunkirk Police Department received a call from a concerned neighbor regarding a possible burglary in progress at 733 Park Ave, Dunkirk, NY.  The caller had witnessed a subject around the house and flashlights inside the house and knew the homeowners were not supposed to be home.  Upon officers’ arrival, a perimeter was established with Dunkirk and Fredonia Police Officers.  Entry was made and 4 individuals were found hiding inside the residence.  The 4 individuals were Jorge M. Negron-Velazquez, age 33, Dunkirk, NY, one 16 year old male from Dunkirk, one 15 year old male from Dunkirk, NY and one 15 year old male from Westfield, NY.  As Negron-Velazquez was being escorted to the police car, he pulled away from the officer and fled on foot through a backyard and over a fence.  Negron-Velazquez was retaken into custody.  Through investigation, it was learned that all 4 individuals acting together, caused the removal of several items from the residence which were recovered.  Negron-Velazquez and the 16 year old male were arraigned by Judge Walter Drag and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $40,000 cash/$80,000 property.on charges of Burglary in the Second Degree and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree.  Negron-Velazquez was additionally charged with Resisting Arrest.    The 15 year old males were released to their parents and will be issued Family Court appearance tickets for Burglary in the Second Degree and Grand Larceny in the Third Degree.

Chief Ortolano speaks to Upward Bound Program

IMG_3874Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano was invited to speak to the Upward Bound program at SUNY Fredonia Monday evening. “It was my pleasure spending the time explaining what the job of a Police Officer is all about and answering questions from a group of very nice young men and women from our communities.” Afterwards, the upward bound students that were criminal justice majors took the photo with Chief Ortolano.

Vehicle Entries


Over the past few weeks we have received a number of reports of vehicles being entered during the overnight hours throughout the City. We want to take this time to remind all City residents, and visitors to the City, to take a minute and make sure their vehicle is locked when you get out. Take all valuables from the vehicle when you leave it. Do not leave anything of value in plain sight.

We would also like to remind residents to call police headquarters if they see someone they don’t recognize in their neighborhood at odd times. It may be nothing but we would rather respond than to let that person do something illegal in any of our neighborhoods.

Burglary Arrest

A City of Dunkirk man was arrested at about 8:00 PM this evening in relation to a burglary that took place on July 7th, 2016 at the Alma Latina Mex Restaurant at 17 Cliffstar Dr. The incident began when Dunkirk Police officers from the 11PM-7AM shift were conducting routine business checks and discovered that a small window had been forced open on the side of the business and loose change was found on the ground outside. Once an employee was reached officer entered the business and searched but no suspect was found inside. Inside the store officers found that the cash register had been forced open and more coins were found on the floor. Employees confirmed that the cash from the register was missing as well as more coins. It appeared that the business’ security video system had also been tampered with.
 Over the next several days, officers from all 3 shifts conducted an extensive investigation into the incident and were able to recover the security video footage and identify the lone suspect. The suspect is identified as Carlos Javier Lopez-Rodriguez. An arrest warrant was obtained from Dunkirk City Court Judge Walter Drag and officers began searching for Lopez-Rodriguez.

  Just before 8:00 PM this evening, an off-duty patrol officer who had been working on the case spotted the suspect walking southbound on Rt. 60 in the Town of Dunkirk. The officer contact Dunkirk Police Headquarters and the Village of Fredonia Police Department for assistance, then kept watch on the suspect as he continued walking and entered the Walmart Store. Officers from the Dunkirk Police Department and the Fredonia Police Department converged on the store and took the suspect into custody without incident. He is being held in the DPD lockup without bail on charges of Third Degree Burglary, Petit Larceny and Criminal Mischief 4th Degree.



We wanted to provide a resource for you all regarding the Local Law authorizing the sale and use of sparking devices as permitted by New York State Penal Section 405(5)(b).  As always, we ask that extreme caution is used when using any type of fireworks.  They can be very dangerous when not used properly.  We thank you for your cooperation and hope to see you for professional fireworks display on the Fourth of July at dusk.


INTRODUCTORY NO. 4-16 (Print 2)





BE IT ENACTED, by the County Legislature of the County of Chautauqua, New York, as follows:

Section 1. Legislative Findings and Intent.

A. On November 21, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 477 of the Laws of 2014.

B. The aforementioned Chapter law amended the New York State Penal Law, Executive Law and General Business Law placing further restrictions on dangerous fireworks while at the same time recognizing that certain fireworks should not be labeled dangerous when they pose little to no danger to the public.

C. The Governor signed this law in part due to its strong home rule authority, only allowing for certain fireworks to be sold and used in municipalities that affirmatively enact a local law authorizing such action.

D. It is the intent of this Local Law to allow the sale and use of “sparkling devices” in Chautauqua County which will benefit local residents and local businesses.

Section 2. Definitions.

“Sparkling Devices” are defined as follows:

“Sparkling Devices” which are ground-based or hand-held devices that produce a shower of white, gold, or colored sparks as their primary pyrotechnic effect. Additional effects may include a colored flame, an audible crackling effect, an audible whistle effect, and smoke. These devices do not rise into the air, do not fire inserts or projectiles into the air, and do not explode or produce a report (an audible crackling-type effect is not considered to be a report). Ground-based or hand-held devices that produce a cloud of smoke as their sole pyrotechnic effect are also included in this category. Types of devices in this category include:

1. cylindrical fountain: cylindrical tube containing not more than seventy-five grams of pyrotechnic composition that may be contained in a different shaped exterior such as a square, rectangle, cylinder or other shape but the interior tubes are cylindrical in shape. Upon ignition, a shower of colored sparks, and sometimes a whistling effect or smoke, is produced. This device may be provided with a spike for insertion into the ground (spike fountain), a wood or plastic base for placing on the ground (base fountain), or a wood or cardboard handle to be hand held (handle fountain). When more than one tube is mounted on a common base, total pyrotechnic composition may not exceed two hundred grams, and when tubes are securely attached to a base and the tubes are separated from each other on the base by a distance of at least half an inch (12.7 millimeters), a maximum total weight of five hundred grams of pyrotechnic composition shall be allowed.

2. cone fountain: cardboard or heavy paper cone containing not more than fifty grams of pyrotechnic composition. The effect is the same as that of a cylindrical fountain. When more than one cone is mounted on a common base, total pyrotechnic composition may not exceed two hundred grams, as is outlined in this subparagraph.

3. wooden sparkler/dipped stick: these devices consist of a wood dowel that has been coated with pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition of the tip of the device, a shower of sparks is produced. Sparklers may contain up to one hundred grams of pyrotechnic composition per item.

4. novelties which do not require approval from the United States Department of Transportation and are not regulated as explosives, provided that they are manufactured and packaged as described below:

(a) party popper: small devices with paper or plastic exteriors that are actuated by means of friction (a string or trigger is typically pulled to actuate the device). They frequently resemble champagne bottles or toy pistols in shape. Upon activation, the device expels flame-resistant paper streamers, confetti, or other novelties and produces a small report. Devices may contain not more than sixteen milligrams (0.25 grains) of explosive composition, which is limited to potassium chlorate and red phosphorus. These devices must be packaged in an inner packaging which contains a maximum of seventy-two devices.

(b) snapper: small, paper-wrapped devices containing not more than one milligram of silver fulminate coated on small bits of sand or gravel. When dropped, the device explodes, producing a small report. Snappers must be in inner packages not to exceed fifty devices each, and the inner packages must contain sawdust or a similar, impact-absorbing material.

Section 3. Authorized Sale and Use of Sparkling Devices

A. Pursuant to Penal Law § 270(3)(b)(v) and Penal Law § 405(5)(b), “sparkling devices” shall be excluded from the definition of “fireworks” and “dangerous fireworks” as those terms are defined by Penal Law § 270(1)(a) and Penal Law § 270(1)(b), respectively.

B. The sale and use of “sparkling devices,” as defined in Penal Law § 270(1)(a)(vi) which is incorporated hereunder, shall be lawful in Chautauqua County provided such sale and use are not in violation of Penal Law § 270 or any rules and regulations thereunder.

C. The sale and use of sparking devices is permitted subject to the following restrictions: 1. The sale of sparkling devices will only be permitted on and between June 1st and July 5th, and December 26th and January 2nd of each calendar year.

2. All distributors, manufacturers and retailers of sparkling devices must be licensed through the New York State Department of State.

3. Only persons 18 years of age or older may purchase sparkling devices.

Section 4. Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, or business shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law, or in its specific application.

Section 5. Effective Date.

This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.

Emailed: 5/11/16 Adopted by Legislature: 5/25/16 R/C Vote: 17 Yes; 2 Absent

Public Hearing by County Executive: 6/8/16

Adopted as LL 3-16