Niagara Gazette

September 17, 2013

Lewiston Police Department dealing with an increase in calls

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

It's both a blessing and a challenge for Lewiston police.

The village and town are continuing to experience healthy growth, but with that growth comes increasing demand for government services like police protection.

"We are growing and we've got more people living here," said Lewiston Police Chief Christopher Salada. "So our calls (for service) are increasing. We're pretty busy."

For the first half of 2013, Lewiston police officers handled 4,645 incident. That's a pretty high total for a village and town police force, until you dig a little deeper into what's involved in providing police service there.

"You know, we cover 64 square miles, with a university, an international border crossing, 12 public and private schools and a couple of large parks," Salada said. 

With a chuckle, the chief admits that's a profile that sounds more like a city or urban center than a small town and village.

"In the summer we're busy with a lot of festivals and, of course, Artpark," Salada said. "Now that kids are back in school we're focusing on that. So we stay busy year-round."

One number the chief says has stayed relatively steady is arrests. For the first half of 2013, the Lewiston Police Department has made 196 arrests.

"Luckily most of them are not serious crimes," Salada said.

Most are property related crimes. Crimes against people, like homicides, robberies and assaults remain few and far between.

Traffic enforcement has been steady for 2013 as well. So far in 2013, officers have issued 1,127 traffic tickets.

"I think we're doing a good job," Salada said. "And we'll keep doing that."