National Prescription Drug Drop Off Day – April 28th

The City of Dunkirk Police Department and WCA ALSTAR Ambulance  in cooperation with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are coordinating a North County location for National Prescription Drug Drop Off Day on Saturday April 28, 2018 from 10AM-2PM.  

 WCA ALSTAR Services has again graciously provided their North Headquarters for the drive in drop off location. ALSTAR North is located behind School # 3 at Rt. 60 and Orchard Street in the City of Dunkirk. The prescriptions can be dropped off with no questions asked.

 This is a very important program because any unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issues leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. In many States deaths from Prescription drugs now exceeds those from motor vehicles accidents with opiate painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin leading abuse. Recent reports show that the number of people seeking treatment for painkiller addiction had increased 400 % within the last 10 years.  Reports show that one in 10  12th grade students used pharmaceutical narcotic pain killers for non medical use. The reports also show that the majority of the teenagers (62%) using prescription drugs got them from family and friends including from medicine cabinets in their own homes. Unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opiods increased 175% over a 5 year period.   Recent reports note that there were 6.2 Million Americans aged 12 years and older who abused prescription drugs within the past month with 7 of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers being prescription medicine.

 Proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs can eliminate temptation for abuse and the temptation for them to be stolen from a residence. The proper disposal also does not affect the environment which can happen if they are flushed into the sewer systems.  Most importantly proper disposal can help lower the deaths rate related to overdose and abuse, especially in our children and young adults.  

 Please take the time to empty your shelves and cabinets from unused and expired prescription drugs and bring them to the drop off point at ALSTAR Ambulance behind School # 3 at Rt. 60 and Orchard Street in Dunkirk on Saturday April 18th  from 10AM-2PM.  Again this will be a drive in and drop off with no questions asked.    

Dunkirk Police Release 2017 Report

TO:  Mayor Wilfred Rosas

     :  Common Council Members

FROM:  Chief David C. Ortolano

SUBJECT: 2017 Report

I want to start out this report on a very sad note as 2017 was one of the most trying heartbreaking years in the history of the Dunkirk Police Department with the death of our beloved K-9 Officer Matthew Hazelton. Matthew was a very dedicated Officer that


Officer Matthew Hazelton and K9 Nico

served this Community with Dedication, Integrity, Honor and Respect and he was a very important part of our Department. We truly found out what an amazing caring support system we have in our Brothers and Sisters in the Police and Fire Service, City Administration and the Citizens and Business Community we serve. The outpouring of support was nothing short of amazing and it helped our Department and the Hazelton family as we struggled through a very tough time. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Matthew’s family and we will always be DPD Strong for them. There is an emptiness in the hearts and hallways of the Dunkirk Police Department that can never be filled.


As you will see we had a very busy year. While our total calls for service increased by about 15% our overall crime rate statistics went down showing a 10% decrease when compared to 2016. Notable Investigations in 2017 included a homicide case on July 6th which was closed by arrest after investigation by our Patrol and Detective Officers.  In the Spring Months of the year we made several Narcotic Arrests as a result of investigations by our Drug Task Force Agents/Detectives, Patrol and SRT Officers. Within a three week time frame we charged 9 subjects and shut down two substantial Narcotic operations. We didn’t stop there as during the course of the year we made several more Narcotic arrests as well.


CCSO Lt. Dave Bentley and DPD Chief David Ortolano

These investigations are the result of very dedicated work by our Drug Task Force Agents/Detectives, Patrol Officers and SRT officers. We continue our work on Narcotic related investigations on a daily basis with our Task Force Officers, Detectives, Patrol Officers and most importantly the assistance of the citizens of our Community as this type of activity can affect the quality of life in the Community. We ran several Street Sweep initiatives in a cooperative effort with NYS Parole. This program is aimed at street and neighborhood level checks for warrants and criminal activity and to assure that parolees are complying with their terms of release. We have also had great success on many other major case and narcotics investigations and arrests as well. Again the success we enjoy in our investigations and arrests does not come without the help of the Community. Our Community Policing efforts have paid huge dividends as we have seen an increase in citizens coming forward with information and getting involved to help us make this Community a safer place.

nextdoorOur Nextdoor Neighbor social media based Neighborhood Watch has grown this past year as well. The combination of our Community involvement and the dedication of the men and women of the Dunkirk Police Department working hard every day have made a difference and we will continue to work for them and make that difference each and every day. We cannot thank the Community residents enough for their help. We are only as effective as the Community that stands behind us.

We are dedicated to provide the best in public safety to our residents as well as our Business Community and those who work and visit here by addressing residential quality of life issues in Neighborhoods and by maintaining a proactive Patrol presence on a regular basis creating a safe environment in our Neighborhoods, Business Districts, Waterfront and Park areas. We had a large number of Residents and Businesses participating in our House Watch and Business Watch program in 2017. The Department conducted 13,800 area and business checks and 2,385 house checks for 2017, this is a total increase of close to 40% compared to 2016. Programs such as these are just a few examples that embody the dedication of a local Police Department that enjoys such a great relationship with it’s Residents and Business Community.


We worked closely with the City School District in 2017 on training programs for our IMG_1052 copyPatrol and SRT Officers related to School Safety. Our SRT Team received a Protective Equipment Grant for $16,000 that has allowed us to purchase much needed proper tactical and safety equipment for our Team.   As part of our STEP Grant we focused Patrols in the School Zone areas for Speed Enforcement and we also dedicate Patrols to all the School District areas during the day especially during the arrival and release times.


Some Highlights from the good news department in 2017: We welcomed our new K-9 gunnyGunny to the Department and he will be handled by Officer Brian Dietzen. Off. Dietzen and Gunny have already proven to be a very valuable asset to the Department and Community. The Department participated in School Reader Day Programs within all the School Districts Elementary Schools from October thru April. Our Officers participated in many events during the year with local businesses, clubs and organizations aimed at promoting a positive relationship with everyone from our children to our senior citizens. Our NextdoorIMG_4282 Neighbor Program is still going strong, programs such as this strengthens our long standing Neighborhood Watch program. We provided a very safe environment along the Waterfront and Parks during our very busy summer months with Music on the Pier and July 4th activities as well as many other festivities. The highlight of the summer season was the Second Dunkirk Air Show. We worked together with the Fire Department and other City Departments to provide a very safe event for tens of thousands of residents and visitors. The 24th edition of our National Night Out in August was a huge success with another large turnout. This program continues to grow each year and more than a dozen of our Officers volunteered for the program again. 2018 will be our 25th National Night Out and it is truly a testament to the Night Out Coordinators and the residents of our Community that we have kept this program growing when many communities have given up on it. We coordinated two prescription take back programs one in the spring and one in the fall and the Department and PBA ended the year by assisting the County Office of Aging with the Santa for Seniors program, this program helps our Senior Citizens in need during the Christmas Holiday Season and let’s them visit with our Officers.


Pictured are Officer Jeffrey Ortolano, Sgt. Douglas Switzer, Sgt. Mark Gruber, Chief David Ortolano, Officer Robert Fred and Lt. Mark Timmerman


We have continued our Patrol Services contract with the Town of Dunkirk which provides Residential and Business area checks in the Town. The Town is very happy with our service and we look forward to our continued relationship with them.

I commend the Command, Patrol and Detective divisions of the Department for their leadership, diligence and dedication. Our SRT Team and Drug Task Force have done a commendable job as well. As a note, reports and statistics show that Law Enforcement Officer Deaths by firearms increased by another 35% in 2017 on top of a 65% increase in 2016 with 129 line of Duty Deaths Nationwide. Assaults on Police Officers rose again in 2017 as well. This is a concern to all Law Enforcement and we address this with our Officers in our ongoing in-service training throughout the year.

On behalf of the entire Dunkirk Police Department I want to thank all of you for your support .It is very important to have an Administration that supports us and allows us the tools we need to successfully do our work and provide the best in public safety to those we serve. We look forward to our continued relationship and working together with you to keep our Community a safe place to live, work and visit.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any questions.

2017 Yearly Report



David C. Ortolano

Chief of Police

Drug and Weapons Arrest

A routine traffic stop lead to the arrest of a North Tonawanda man just after 3:00 PM this afternoon. Dunkirk Police stopped a car on Main St. when the driver failed to properly signal for a turn. When the officer approached the vehicle and asked the driver for his license and registration a strong odor of marihuana was detected. The driver, identified as Jaquan T. Collins, admitted to possessing marihuana and turned over a plastic bag containing a little over 17 grams of the substance. A subsequent check of the vehicle lead to the seizure of a handgun that was in the side pocket of the driver’s side car door. The weapon, a revolver, was not loaded. Jaquan T. Collins was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with Improper Turn Signal, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree.

He posted bail and will appear in Dunkirk City Court at a later date for arraignment.

Dunkirk Police Introduces “Breakfast with a Cop” program


Chief David Ortolano and Officer Tom Rozumalski have breakfast with Central Christian Academy student Michael Cettell from Miss Oakes’ class

The City of Dunkirk Police Department has launched a new program with all the Elementary Schools within the City.  Several months ago Off. Thomas Rozumalski approached City Police Chief David Ortolano and Police Lt. Mark Timmerman with an idea to honor students selected by elementary schools by taking them for breakfast. The program is now under way and a student from each school is picked up at their school by a City Police Officer and taken for breakfast in a marked patrol car to Tim Hortons on Lakeshore Drive East.  Dave and Gina Kron from Tim Hortons reserve a special table for the student and they have graciously agreed to donate the cost of the student’s breakfast. Along with the student and Police Officers, the student’s family members are invited to have breakfast compliments of the Dunkirk PBA. After breakfast the student is taken for a short ride with the Police Officer and then taken back to school. This program is an excellent opportunity for the students and parents to have a positive interaction with their Police Officers and to build a positive relationship. The program is aimed at rewarding students for their hard work and that their Police Officers and Community appreciate that hard work.
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano said, “I commend Officer Rozumalski for this great idea and Lt. Timmerman for his work on coordinating the program with all the Schools in the City. We want to  commend the Krons and their employees at Tim Hortons for taking such good care of us when we bring the students in for breakfast.  They truly are a great community business partner.  We also want to thank all the Schools for working together with us on this program.  It is these type of programs that continue to build positive Police/Community relations that will pay off in the future and hopefully create a few future Police Officers as well.”

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.