National Night Out 2018

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Just a reminder that National Night Out is 3 weeks away Tuesday August 7th at Washington Park.  The City of Dunkirk Police Department is celebrating our 25th National Night Out. Our program has been going strong for 25 years and this year we will be celebrating a very special event to honor the commitment of our Community to keep this program growing for 25 years. Our crowds have been growing for this program and we want to see a record number of people for this year’s Night Out.

Mark your calendars and remember to join us for this great event that brings the Police and Fire Departments together with the Community and celebrate a continued bond of working together for the best in Public Safety. Our program is family oriented so please join us for a fun evening !!

We will be releasing additional information on the program as we get closer to Tuesday August 7th.

Thank you for your continued support of our Police Officers and Firefighters and for caring to make a difference in our Community.

Chief David Ortolano

Dunkirk Police Department.

Dunkirk Police Offers Safety Tips for the 4th of July

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Photo Credit Amanda Cooley

The first holiday of the summer is upon us and as 4th of July is celebrated the Dunkirk Police Department has a few safety tips that could make your celebration safe and happy.

Fireworks are a traditional part of celebrating 4th of July and can be a safe and enjoyable part of the holiday if left to the professionals. With the exception of the licensed professionals, possession and use of dangerous fireworks are illegal. Use of dangerous fireworks can cause serious injuries especially to children. Even though Sparklers are legal during the July Holiday we urge parents to supervise their children with the use of sparklers as they can still cause injury if not used properly. New laws enacted in recent years now carry more severe punishment for the possession, furnishing and sale of dangerous fireworks. Selling furnishing or exposing for sale any dangerous fireworks to persons under the age of 18 can now be punishable by a Felony which can carry a sentence in excess of one year in jail. Anyone arrested for just possessing fireworks can be punished by up to a year in jail. Police in neighboring States also pay close attention to New York residents who purchase fireworks and intend to transport them into New York. Anyone who possesses fireworks can turn them into the Dunkirk Police Department without worry of being charged. We have issued a zero tolerance order on arrests related to possession and use of dangerous fireworks.

Many activities are planned for July 4th such as music and food vendors in Memorial Park. There will be a fireworks display from the City Pier at dusk on July 4th and we invite everyone to come to the waterfront and enjoy the show. The City Pier will be completely closed at 5PM on July 4th with limited access days prior in order to allow the Fireworks Company to set up. On July 4th if possible please park in the City Parking Lots near Second/Washington, Third/Central and areas away from Lakeshore Drive and walk to the Waterfront area. Due to the heavy amount of traffic this helps alleviate traffic congestion.

When leaving the area after the fireworks please use Central Ave., Main St., Brigham Rd., and South Roberts Road as they will provide the quickest routes away from the waterfront area. Many traffic lights will be on flash and there will be Police Officers and Fire Police at intersections, please be patient with them and follow their directions.  All efforts should be made to avoid Lakeshore Drive as it will have heavy traffic volume during the evening.  Please make right hand turns only when exiting side streets and lots to help with traffic congestion.

Those who will be enjoying the City’s Parks and Beaches are also reminded to obey all of the rules regarding alcohol consumption, no glass containers allowed in any City Park areas, noise, dog restrictions/cleaning up after them and parking regulations. No parking on the grass areas of any Parks.  Please keep all dogs on a leash and a safe distance from other people. We also remind pet owners that some animals can be sensitive to loud noises so please make sure to keep an extra eyen on them during July 4th activities. A 4th of July family holiday outing can be ruined by those who disregard the laws and are not courteous. We remind everyone about bicycle safety rules, all bicycles must follow the rules as if they were operating a motor vehicle, helmets are required for bicyclist under the age of 14. For pedestrians that walk in the roadway, you must walk single file facing traffic and you can’t obstruct traffic.

Also this holiday and as always if you have celebrated too much and can’t safely and

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Photo Credit Michelle Mourer-Cook

responsibly operate your vehicle please don’t. Have a designated driver, find a designated driver, walk or take a taxi. Real friends won’t let someone they love get behind the wheel and operate a vehicle when they know it can’t be done safely. Avoid confronting aggressive drivers and report any unsafe operation to the Police. Please remember to wear a seatbelt and make sure that children are properly secured in a child safety seat, it’s a proven fact that seatbelts and child safety seats save lives. Talking on a cell phone while driving and especially texting while driving can have tragic results.

Please pay attention July 4th  and throughout the summer for large crowds along the waterfront areas City Parks, during festivals, music on the Pier and on weekends. Please slow down and watch for pedestrian traffic. The 4th of July and entire summer can be a very safe and happy time for everyone if we all are responsible and courteous and have respect for others by following the rules.

We will have extra Patrols in service for the Holiday and during festivals and events. Please call 911 for emergencies or our Communications Desk at 366-2266 for any needs or assistance.

We wish all our area residents and visitors a happy and safe summer season.

Chief David Ortolano

City of Dunkirk Police Department

Door to Door Solicitors

Recently the Dunkirk Police Department has received a report that individuals are going door to door allegedly soliciting for City functions. The City of Dunkirk does not solicit door to door for donations to any City event – please contact the Dunkirk Police Communications Desk at 366-2266 should anyone saying they represent the City come to your door asking for a donation.

In addition, should anyone come to your door soliciting money please ask to see their City Permit. If they do not have one send them on their way and call police HQ immediately with a description and direction of travel. We will send a patrol car to check on these individuals and advise them of the proper procedures for going door to door.

Summertime Safety Reminders

With Summer fast approaching and activities on the increase along the Waterfront the City of Dunkirk Police Department is issuing the following safety reminders.

Please wear a seat belt and have children secured properly in a child safety seat, it is a proven fact that seat belts and safety seats save lives. Texting and talking on cell phones while driving is illegal and dangerous.

If you’ve had too much to drink and can’t safely operate your vehicle please don’t.

Be aware while travelling through our School Zones, the speed limit while school is in session is 15 MPH with the exception of 20 MPH on Rt. 60 @ School # 3 and 25 MPH on Rt. 5 @ School # 7.

Be aware of increased activity in the Wright Park/Serval Street areas. Little League Baseball and Softball are in full swing as well as several Softball Tournaments at Wright Park and Point Gratiot. There will be increased enforcement in this area as we are committed to providing a safe environment for Little League Baseball, Softball and Tournaments.  Motorists should be aware of the Babe Ruth League games on Lucas Ave.   Slow down and watch for pedestrians in all these areas.

Be aware of the increased activity at the City pier around the Boardwalk Market, Music on the Pier as well as the many activities around the waterfront establishments with bands, nightlife activities and several festivals that are planned. The Memorial Day Parade is set for Monday May 28th, we encourage everyone to come out for the ceremonies and enjoy the day in the downtown and waterfront areas.

During the course of the summer there will be several road races and walks along the waterfront, please pay attention and be cautious during these events.

A reminder about Park rules and regulations: Dogs must be on a leash and owners are responsible to pick up the dog waste, this is just common courtesy to all the others that use and enjoy our Parks. Alcohol consumption in permitted areas only. NO GLASS in any of the Park, Beach or City Pier areas. Littering is illegal and we ask for cooperation to keep our Parks and City Pier area clean. Containers in the Park areas are for garbage/litter generated only from the use of the Park, anyone who dumps personal garbage into these containers will be prosecuted.

The City of Dunkirk Police Department is committed to providing a safe environment along the Waterfront and in our Parks during the summer. We encourage everyone to come out and visit our Waterfront and Park areas to see what’s going on. We believe that you will be pleasantly surprised. We ask for the cooperation of our residents and visitors to please exercise caution while driving in the areas that have increased activities and we hope you enjoy the summer along the waterfront.  Please don’t hesitate to call the Communications Desk at 366-2266 if you see something out of the ordinary or have a question.

“DPD Reader Day”

The Dunkirk Police Department, continuing its involvement with the Police Department Reader Day Program, read to Northern Chautauqua Catholic School (NCCS) students.  Police Officers visit 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 NCCS for working together with the Police Department on our programs in the Schools.

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“Breakfast with a Cop”

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Josiah Adorno, from Mrs Rukavina’s 4th grade class, enjoys breakfast with Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano, Officers Tom Rozumalski and Roberto Fred and Tim Horton’s owners, Gina and Dave Kron.

A student 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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Respectfully,

 

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.

Alternate and Overnight Parking Changes

Spring and summer parking regulations will be taking effect for Alternate and Overnight Parking with the following changes.

Overnight Parking: Overnight Parking regulations on  the main streets such as Central Ave., Lakeshore Dr., Brigham Rd., Doughty St., Main St. and many of the smaller side streets will end Sunday April 1st and does not resume again until Sunday November 4th .

Alternate Parking: Parking will change back to weekly as follows:

Effective at 5:00PM starting Sunday April 1st and continuing to Sunday November 4th for one week periods commencing at 5:00PM on any odd numbered Sunday, parking shall be allowed on the odd numbered side of the streets affected and on any even numbered Sunday, parking shall be allowed on the even numbered side of the streets affected. The date of the day after 5:00PM on Sunday determines the side on which parking is allowed for the following week. Courtesy tags will be issued as reminders for a short period of time, after that time parking summonses will be issued.

It is not the goal of the City of Dunkirk or the Police Department to issue parking summonses for violations. We are asking everyone’s cooperation to park properly and help those who may be visitors to our area with understanding our parking regulations. Proper parking is a matter of public safety in that we have to keep streets open and accessible to emergency vehicles at all times. We want everyone to be aware that if the need arises we will tow vehicles that hamper access by emergency vehicles or create a hazard to public safety. Proper parking also allows Public Works access for street repairs and maintenance.

We truly appreciated the help of our residents this past winter with getting their vehicles moved in a timely manner during winter storms. Your cooperation kept the streets clear for plows and emergency vehicles. Thank you !!

Again we ask everyone to help keep the City of Dunkirk a safe place for residents, business people and visitors to enjoy. Please call the Police Communications Desk at 366-2266 with any questions regarding Parking Regulations.