Niagara Gazette


June 21, 2014

COPS NOTEBOOK: Weighing in on state parks police barracks site

Ok ... it’s time to rant.

You all know I try to keep these columns on the lighter side. But there are times, and today is one of those days, when I just need to let loose.

So here we go.

Police in the Park

One of the things this city is the best in the world at is (Sadly, no, not being a great tourist destination) being able to rise up in righteous indignation over the most inane and inconsequential things. 

The outrage being rained down on state parks and the state park police over the construction of a new police barracks on what was once a Robert Moses Parkway off-ramp is a prime example of this. 

When members of the city’s tourism advisory board first began screaming about the project, and how it was somehow desecrating the river gorge and ruining the prospects for badly needed tourism development, I thought I’d check it out.

After going to the site, my reaction was: What in the name of tourism are these people raving about?

The property in question is small, oddly shaped, with limited prospects for public access even if there wasn’t a new police station there. Any view of the Falls is blocked by the Rainbow Bridge and the view of the gorge is nothing special.

There isn’t a legitimate tourism related developer (considering our track record here with developers that is a necessary caveat) in the Western Hemisphere who would want would put anything there. So I presume the alternative to the station would be to allow the land there to become a grassy plain or, more likely, a weed patch.

Now that’s a great tourist attraction. 

By the way, the hiking trail that is there would not be impacted by the new barracks. In fact, it would put park police officers in closer proximity to aid those who encounter difficulties on the trail. 

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