Niagara Gazette

Opinion

February 11, 2013

HIGGS: Partnering with Falls police

Niagara Gazette — Last week we learned about some of the partnerships the Niagara Falls Block Club Council has become involved in with local government and how it all assists crime prevention in our community.

It has been a long, hard battle over the almost 17 years we have been in this together but we as citizens fully realize we cannot control our population and the social problems that come with it. At our annual retreat held in January we invited these partners to pass along any and all new programs and/or ideas that have been developed which can help us learn how we as citizens can better help in the reduction and prevention of crime in our neighborhoods.

Our most vital partner has been the Niagara Falls Police Department and our new police superintendent was in his 26th day in this position at the time of the retreat. He was, however, a highly recognized member of the NFPD for 15 years. Chief Bryan DalPorto with the assistance of Field Intelligence Officer Karl Brusino and Field Intelligence Analyst Matt Robbins put together a Power-Point presentation outlining among other things the manpower restructuring during this time period. To make the most effective use of manpower he put more officers on the street and even on the beat. One day in mid-January, I actually saw a police officer “walking the beat” on Pine Avenue. (yea — my comment).

The RAC unit is now in marked police cars on patrol; the Traffic Division does prisoner transfers; when desk officers are not needed during building closure they are on the road during afternoon and midnight shifts. There will still be an officer in City Hall but when closed, this officer is on patrol. Manning for shifts will be evaluated on a daily basis. The chief says the ideal number is eight plus. During the summer, Operation Impact funds will be used in the downtown tourist area and business districts. He stated everything is COMPSTAT driven – crime trends are researched and if burglaries are up in certain areas for instance, manpower is diverted there. This unit meets biweekly to discuss violent crime, property crime and how to allocate resources to address these crimes. Officer presence will be increased in business districts. Burglaries and larceny from vehicles continue to be the highest statistic. Lock your empty car ladies and gentlemen. It does help.

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