Pictured are Officer Jeffrey Ortolano, Sgt. Douglas Switzer, Sgt. Mark Gruber, Chief David Ortolano, Officer Robert Fred and Lt. Mark Timmerman
The City of Dunkirk Police Department assisted the Chautauqua County Office
for the Aging again this year with the Santa for Seniors Holiday Program.
City Officers delivered Holiday bags containing food and daily living items to Seniors around the City that are homebound. Officers delivered the bags and visited with the Seniors that were chosen to receive the gifts.
During Christmas and Holiday season people are often busy, excited and a little careless. Unfortunately it’s a time when they should be extra careful. This Season don’t let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, pick-pockets, purse snatchers and con artists a better chance to do their dirty work. Crooks love the Holidays as much as everyone else.
Here are some tips on how to celebrate this season and make the Holidays a safe and happy time.
Be extra careful about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even if only for a few minutes. Also lock garages and sheds.
If expecting packages try and plan on having someone home to accept them, most shippers have tracking available to let you know a time frame. If possible request that the shipper only deliver if the items are signed for. Also you can leave a note on your door requesting that your item not be left unless someone is there to sign for it. Have you neighbors be aware as well to watch for deliveries and hold the items for you until you get home.
Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or door, leave only a few presents out and store the remainder.
If out at night turn on a radio or TV so the house looks occupied.
If you go away for a few days get an automatic timer for lights and TV. Have a neighbor watch your house, shovel snow, pick up mail and newspapers(or have them held until you return) and park their car in your driveway from time to time.
Be wary of strangers coming to the door asking for donations, a courier delivering a gift or public utility workers asking to enter your house. Ask for ID, look for workers vehicles and if you don’t feel comfortable don’t open the door, call the Police Desk and we will send a car to check them out.
Be wary of scam and con artists, be very careful who you give your personal information and bank account or credit card information to. Your bank will not call on the phone or come to the door asking this information. Ask for and check on references, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel you are being pressured or don’t understand. Remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Check electronic items and mark them with a unique identification number.
Use only fire resistant ornaments and check lights to make sure they are safe. Teach children not to play with lights and electrical connections and avoid overloading outlets and using extension cords. Remember to keep live trees watered and do not leave tree lights on overnight or when away from home.
Test your smoke detector and if you have guests let them know about your security and escape plan in case of an emergency.
Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
Shop before dark if possible and coordinate with a friend or relative if you plan on being out late.
Park in well lighted areas and be sure to lock car doors and close windows. Secure items in the trunk and have keys ready to enter your vehicle and check the interior before getting in. Once inside lock the doors and don’t open them or get back out. Use your car panic alarm if you are being followed or feel uncomfortable.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and deter pick pockets and purse snatchers by carrying your purse under the arm and keeping wallets in front pockets.
Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they become separated or lost. Teach them to stay close and avoid contact with strangers.
Be careful with internet purchases, use reputable sites and secure payments such as pay-pal or a credit card. Avoid using a debit card on internet purchases.
Check your Debit and Credit card account activity often to make sure it has not been compromised.
If you have celebrated a little too much at a Holiday party or out with family and friends and you can’t safely and responsibly operate your vehicle please don’t. Be a designated driver, find a designated driver or call a taxi. If you really care you won’t let your friends or loved ones operate a vehicle or get into a vehicle when you know that it can’t be done safely and responsibly. Please take the needed steps to avoid the senseless tragedies that occur on our highways as a result of drinking and driving or reckless operation. Also please make sure that everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt and children are in proper child safety restraints. It’s a proven fact that seatbelts and child safety seats save lives. Make sure you clear snow and ice from your vehicle, keep an emergency pack with items such as blankets and a flashlight in your car and plan extra time on trips to allow for changing road conditions.
Also we encourage anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in their neighborhood to please call the Desk at 366-2266 when it is happening. We would much rather send a car to check the situation than to find out at a later time that something happened and we could have had immediate information. We also advise residents to not open their doors to anyone unless they know who it is, again please call 366-2266 or 911 and have a patrol car respond.
If you are leaving town for an extended period of time please fill out a house watch check form and we will check your house while you are away. Residents can get the forms at the Police Desk or on our Department website. Fill them out and return them to the Police Desk. You can also fill out the form online and submit it electronically.
Make time to get together with family and friends and think about reaching out and helping senior citizens or those who are less fortunate. Take a little time to make the Holidays a safe and happy time for everybody. On behalf of the Dunkirk Police Department please have a safe, happy and joyous Christmas, New Year and Holiday Season.
The Dunkirk Police Department again this year will be involved with the Police Department Reader Day Program. The program started at School # 7 on December 1st and will continue with one Elementary School each Month thru March. Police Officers will visit all the Elementary Schools and read books to the children. As part of this program the Officers also spent time with the children explaining the Job of a Police Officer and answering any questions the children may have. The children at School # 7 greeted the Officers with a bottle of water and a pack of Extra Gum because they wanted to thank us for going the Extra for them. They also prepared thank you cards for the Officers to take back to the Police Station and hang on the bulletin board.
This program has helped to build a positive relationship with the children and let’s them be familiar with Police Officers in a positive setting. The program will help to make children more comfortable with Police Officers and hopefully build positive relationships in the future as well.
We again want to thank the City of Dunkirk School District for working together with the Police Department on our programs in the Schools.
On December 11, 2017 at about 7:40 P.M. officers from the New York State Parole, City of Dunkirk Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office went to 3647 New Rd. in the Town of Dunkirk attempting to serve a New York State Parole arrest warrant. At this time Rodney HAWKINS Jr. (subject of the warrant) attempted to flee from officers by jumping through a front window of the residence. HAWKINS, age 29, of Fredonia, NY, was taken into custody after a brief foot chase and was initially charged on the original Parole warrant of arrest, Resisting Arrest and Obstructing Governmental Administration in the 2nd Degree. As a result of this initial encounter members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence from the Town of Dunkirk Court. The search warrant was then executed and as a result of the search warrant execution officers took Jonathan M. LINGER, age 30, of Dunkirk, NY and Martin J. WISNIEWSKI, age 43, of Dunkirk, NY into custody. During the course of the search warrant, officers located and seized a large amount of crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana. As a result of the seizure, each of the defendants are charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. All of the defendants were subsequently arraigned in the Town of Sheridan Court and committed to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail. Additionally, HAWKINS, will be arraigned on a felony arrest warrant from the City of Dunkirk Court charging him with Criminal Contempt in the 1st Degree. This warrant stems from a separate investigation by the City of Dunkirk Police Department.
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Dunkirk Police Department. Authorities continue to ask members of the community to call when they observe suspicious or narcotics related activities within their neighborhoods at either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.