Menacing Arrest


Terry T. Young-Copeland

On Monday February 5th, 2018 at about 3:40 AM, officers of the City of Dunkirk Police Department responded to an address on Lake Shore Dr E after receiving a 911 call reporting an assault. Officers arrived on scene and after an investigation determined that Terry T. Young-Copeland, age 30, of Dunkirk, NY, had allegedly threatened another subject with a sledgehammer during a dispute. Young-Copeland was taken into custody and transported to City of Dunkirk Police Headquarters where he was booked on a charge of Menacing in the Second Degree.  He was arraigned by Judge John Kuzdale and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail.

DWI Arrest


Alverado Salazar-Sanchez

On Sunday January 22nd, 2018 at about 12:01 AM officers of the City of Dunkirk Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle after observing it fail to stop for a red traffic light. The vehicle pulled into a driveway on N Pangolin St and both the operator and passenger exited the vehicle. Both subjects ignored officer’s commands and proceeded to flee on foot from the scene. After a brief foot pursuit both subjects were taken into custody. The operator was identified as Alverado Salazar-Sanchez, age 26, of Dunkirk, NY. Further investigation revealed Salazar-Sanchez to be intoxicated and unlicensed. He was transported back to Dunkirk Police Headquarters where he was booked and locked up on charges of DWI and several vehicle and traffic law infractions. The passenger,  was turned over to Border Patrol for further investigation.

Burglary Investigation

On November 27, 2017 at about 1:10 AM, an officer on patrol observed two male subjects walking down Columbus Ave in the City carrying cut up copper piping.  Through investigation, it is alleged that Omar Contreras, age 37, and Michael Banach, age 23, both of Dunkirk, NY, had unlawfully entered a vacant house at 606 Park Ave, cut the copper piping from the basement and removed it without permission.  Subsequent investigation, warrants were later applied for and issued by Judge Walter Drag for Burglary in the Third Degree (D/Felony), Possession of Burglar Tools (A/Misd), Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree (A/Misd), and Petit Larceny (A/Misd).  On January 4th, 2018, Jamestown PD apprehended Omar Contreras and on February 9th, 2018, Buffalo PD apprehended Michael Banach.  Contreras was committed to CCJ and Banach is awaiting arraignment.

DPD reads to students at Dunkirk School 3


Officers left to right: Lt Michael Pakulski, Officers Darren McIntyre, Joe Carruth, Jeff Ortolano, Chief David Ortolano, and Sgt Mark Gruber

The Dunkirk Police Department, continuing its involvement with the Police Department Reader Day Program, read to School # 3 students on February 2nd, 2018.  Police Officers visit  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. 

This program continues to help 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.

DPD seizes 4 pounds of drugs during traffic stop

On Saturday January 13, 2018, around 5:49 PM, a DPD patrol officer observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of W. 5th St and Swan St.  A vehicle and traffic stop was conducted on Swan St near the intersection of W 6th St.  The officer made contact with the operator of the vehicle who was identified as Jessie M. Melendez, age 32, Dunkirk, NY. At that time the officer observed a large quantity of high-quality marijuana packaged in large clear plastic bags that were in plain view on the rear floor of the vehicle.  Subsequent investigation, Jessie M. Melendez, Jonathan R. Rodriguez, age 31, and Luis A. Sanchez, age 34, both of Dunkirk, NY were all charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, a class D Felony.  Melendez was additionally charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree, Fail to stop at sign and unsafe tires.  The seized marijuana had a total weight in excess of 4 pounds, with an approximate street value of $8,000. In addition to the marijuana, a significant amount of U.S. Currency was seized from the suspects.

Jessie Melendez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court in front of Judge Kuzdale on Sunday January 14, 2018 and was ordered held without bail. Jonathan Rodriguez was arraigned and bail was set at $10,000 cash / $20,000 property. Luis Sanchez was arraigned and bail was set at $7,500 cash / $15,000 property. All 3 were transported to the Chautauqua County Jail after arraignment.

Motor Vehicle Accident

On Sunday December 31st 2017, at approximately 8:45 PM, City of Dunkirk police officers responded to the area of Mary’s Deli, 525 Main St, for a reported head-on collision. Through investigation, it was determined that Juan G. Navarrete was operating a vehicle northbound on Main St. Navarrete crossed into the opposite lane and struck another vehicle which was traveling southbound. Dunkirk Fire responded to the scene and assessed several subjects. Navarrete was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for minor injuries. Further investigation revealed that Navarrete was intoxicated and that his license was currently suspended for an earlier driving while ability impaired conviction. Navarrete was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, AUO 1st (felony), failure to keep right and unlicensed operation. Dunkirk police officers were assisted on scene by Dunkirk Fire and NYSP.

Vehicle Pursuit/Possession of Loaded Firearm

Trevon Tripp

On January 1, 2018, at about 5:00 AM, Dunkirk Police officers attempted to perform a traffic stop on Lincoln Ave for several traffic violations, but the driver, Trevon D. Tripp, age 20, of Dunkirk, NY, failed to comply and fled in the vehicle.  After a short distance, officers observed Tripp exit the moving vehicle and flee on foot through back yards on Lincoln Ave between W. Talcott St. and Cliffstar Ct.  The vehicle came to rest in a snow bank.   A perimeter was established and with the assistance of K-9 Gunny, Tripp was located hiding in a backyard.  Tripp again fled and with the assistance of a local resident, Tripp was taken into custody and found to be in possession of a loaded firearm.  During the booking process, Tripp was in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Tripp was charged with : Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (C/Felony), Resisting Arrest (A/M), Unlawful Possession of Marihuana (V), Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree (U/M), Fail to Obey Police Officer, 6 counts of fail to stop at stop sign (infraction), Fail to Use Designated Lane, Speed not reasonable and prudent (infraction)

Santa for Seniors Holiday Program

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.

Holiday Time Safety

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.

At Home:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or door, leave only a few presents out and store the remainder.
  4. If out at night turn on a radio or TV so the house looks occupied.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Check electronic items and mark them with a unique identification number.
  9. 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.
  10. Test your smoke detector and if you have guests let them know about your                   security and escape plan in case of an emergency.

When Shopping:

  1. Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
  2. Shop before dark if possible and coordinate with a friend or relative if you plan on being out late.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

DPD Kicks Off Reader Day


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.



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