Fourth of July/Summer Safety

Chief David C. Ortolano

Chief David C. Ortolano

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. The Chautauqua County Legislature recently passed a law that allows for the use of sparklers during the July 4th 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. We will have extra patrols in service for the holiday weekend.

Music on the Pier this Thursday will be in Memorial Park due to Fireworks set-up.

The Dunkirk Air Show will take place on Saturday July 2nd and Sunday July 3rd on Lakefront Blvd at 2PM each day.  Following the air shows there will be entertainment and food vendors in Memorial Park.  Please be aware that traffic will be congested in the area of the Air Show and many streets will be closed or have limited access in the Lakefront Blvd. area. Check the City Website  for alternative parking areas and bus shuttles and other details regarding the Air Show and events after the show.

Many activities are planned during the day 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 prior to July 4th.  If possible please park in the City Parking Lots near Second/Washington and Third/Central 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.

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. 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 to much and can’t safely and 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.

Please pay attention July 4th weekend and throughout the summer for large crowds along the waterfront areas, during festivals 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 wish all our area residents and visitors a happy and safe summer season.


Chief David Ortolano

City of Dunkirk Police Department

Warrant and Drug Arrests

Bailey Matney

City of Dunkirk Police arrested a City of Dunkirk couple on several drug related charges following an incident at 34 W. 4th St. early Tuesday morning.  At around 1:30 AM, Dunkirk Police patrol officers responded to 34 W. 4th St. after an officer spotted Nicholas Bailey through a window. Bailey was wanted on an outstanding Felony Warrant for Criminal Mischief for intentionally damaging property. Officers surrounded the residence and knocked on the door. There was no response but officers were able to see Jenna Matney moving about inside the apartment. Matney was wanted on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation. Officers announced that they would force entry if they did not open the door. When there was still no response, officers forced open a screen door, prompting Jenna Matney to come to the door where she was taken into custody. Officer continued to search the residence and found Nicholas Bailey. He was also taken into custody. While in the residence officers located and seized a significant quantity of cocaine powder that was packaged for street sale, a small amount of marihuana and assorted drug paraphernalia. Both were charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree (Intent To Sell), which is a Class B Felony. They were also charged with unlawful possession of marihuana. They were taken to Police Headquarters and locked up without bail pending arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.

Crack Cocaine Drug Arrests

Harrison DevoreCity of Dunkirk Police arrested an Irving man and a Dunkirk woman early Tuesday morning on multiple charges following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle parked in Wright Park after hours. Shortly after 1:00 AM, a Dunkirk Police patrol officer was making a routine check of the Wright Park area and observed a vehicle sitting in the park after hours.   When the officer approached the vehicle, the occupants acted nervous. The female passenger was reluctant to provide her name and date of birth and actually identified herself as another person. Other officers arrived to assist and it was determined that the female passenger was in fact Amber M. Harrison, age 39, of Leming St, Dunkirk, NY, was wanted on several outstanding bench warrant for failing to appear in Dunkirk City Court. When she was removed from the car and placed under arrest, officers observed a makeshift pipe commonly used for smoking crack cocaine. The driver, identified as Darryl W. Devore, age 52, of Main St, Irving, NY, was then removed from the vehicle. Officers removed the pipe and underneath it they located a package containing crack cocaine. Darryl Devore was placed under arrest for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree, as was Harrison. Both suspects were transported to Dunkirk Police Headquarters on the misdemeanor charges. At Police Headquarters, Darryl Devore was found to have 2 more packages of crack cocaine concealed in his socks and was charged with Felony counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th Degree (500 milligrams or more of crack cocaine) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree (Intent To Sell). A substantial amount of cash was also seized from Devore.