There are many words you can use to describe the new Niagara Falls municipal complex.
One of them would be FORTRESS.
The new home of Cataract City cops and the City Courts is nothing if not impregnable. Between closed circuit surveillance cameras, multiple security doors and a squad of newly minted court security officers, the building appears impenetrable.
Unless, apparently, you’re a wily feral cat.
After taking over control of the complex from the contractors, police and court officials discovered that a cat had taken up residence in the facility and seemed to like it there. How exactly it got in and how it was getting food and water were mysteries.
One thing was certain though, the cat would not be caught easily.
It appeared to prowl in the offices of the City Court Clerk. One of the clerks was even able to snap a picture of the somewhat demonic looking (OK, maybe you can blame that on the lighting in the room) feline but not catch it.
The day before the new building went into service, a team of trained police officers “swept” the facility in search of the little critter but came up empty. However, as the officers prepared to leave, after resecuring the building, one of them happened to glance at a window in the office of Chief City Court Clerk Martha Farbo-Lincoln.
“The cat was sitting there in the window, just looking at us like we were fools,” the officer said.
Police were prepared to bring in K-9 Pharaoh to find the furry little intruder, when court personnel were finally able to corner it the court clerk’s mailroom earlier this week. Finally trapped, the cat did not go quietly or easily.
“He was just wild,” Farbo-Lincoln said. “You couldn’t touch him or have someone take him home.”
So, court personnel simply chased the cat out of the building but not before he sprayed the mailroom.
“Yeah,” Farbo-Lincoln laughed. “It’s pretty bad in there. We’re going to have to get that cleaned up.”
On a related municipal complex security issue, inquiring minds are wondering what is up, or not up as the case may be, with the parking lot security gates used by police and the City Court judges.
Reportedly the judges were having trouble getting the security gate that blocks the entrance to their underground parking area to work. Seems the gate didn’t want to go up.
The gate used to control access to police parking had no trouble going up. Staying up appears to be an issue though.
Last Saturday, as a patrol officer was entering the parking area, the gate went up and, as his car passed through, came down, crashing down on the vehicle.
The officer reported no damage to the patrol car, but noted that the gate “fell off and was lying on the ground.”
You’d think for $47 million you could get some working gates.
Contact reporter Rick Pfeiffer
at 282-2311, ext. 2252.