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Police announce results of Thursday's neighborhood enforcement detail

Press release:

On July 31st the City of Batavia Police Department joined by the Genesee County Drug Task Force (The Genesee Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from Batavia PD, Le Roy PD and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.), Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Genesee County Probation participated in the second neighborhood enforcement detail this summer. The purpose of these details was to systematically approach known problem areas within the City and target criminal activity.

In total 12 law enforcement personnel from four different agencies were partnered in focused enforcement details in seven separate locations. NET patrols included State Street, Bank Street, Tracy Avenue, Dellinger Avenue, Holland Avenue, and the Ellicott Street Corridor. The following are results of this year’s second detail:

45 data runs
24 vehicle/traffic stops
14 Traffic tickets issued
4 Vehicles Searched
3 Penal Law Arrests

  • Munroe, Isaiah J.A., age 24, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Court Date 08/12/14
  • Witkop, Michael A, age 22, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Court Date 08/12/14
  • Lattimer, Henry, L., age 33, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, Court Date 08/19/14

12 probation checks
3 probation violations

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said “The City Police will continue to make a concentrated effort in those areas that need the most enforcement. We are lucky to have the assistance of the other agencies in providing the support to these very productive details. Many major crimes have been solved by starting small; officers know that the simple traffic stop or street encounter has the possibility to turn into a major arrest. These details have a proven track record of producing tangible results and therefore we look forward to implementing them as the year progresses.”

Genesee County Chief Deputy of Investigations Jerome Brewster added “The NET details provide local law enforcement with the resources necessary to address 'quality of life' issues for our citizens. Through the shared efforts of the Batavia Police, Sheriff's Office, Probation and Parole, we can have an immediate impact on drug dealing, drug-related activity, probation and parole violations, as well as related unlawful behaviors in areas previously noted for this type of behavior. Input from our citizens is critical so that our resources can be directed to areas where the enjoyment of property and neighborhoods have been compromised by the actions of others.”

Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) details were outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. They include dedicated patrols for targeted enforcement with the goal of intercepting and interrupting the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband as well as locating and arresting wanted persons. All agencies involved expect to continue joint law enforcement efforts in the future. These details are not advertised prior to taking place and locations are selected based on criminal data, the presence of nuisance and illegal behavior and ongoing investigations.  

If you see criminal activity or know about a crime that has occurred please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

Peter O'Brien
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To the tune of Speed Racer:

Go Gestapo Go!

Mark Potwora
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Sounds like all they did was write a bunch of traffic tickets...What were the traffic tickets for..Speed,running stop signs..Seems like all these sweeps are is just pulling cars over...Don't think that will stop some of the problems on State and Lewis ,or over on Jackson..

Christopher Putnam
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The police cause more problems then they will ever solve. So you spent how many man hours, and how many tax dollars, and you caught those 3 big bad marijuana users! Meanwhile in Colorado and Washington..puff puff pass. I wonder if they ever feel stupid and useless arresting people for weed... NEWS FLASH its medicine, for everything, from anxiety to cancer. I wish that everyone that smoked weed would just all get together in austin park and all light up at once, and watch their system break the fuck down when they have to arrest like 35% of the population of batavia.

Bea McManis
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The criticism of the method and the results may be valid. That said, what are the options and how should they be implemented? There appears to be agreement that "something" should be done. The question is what do you want to see our law enforcement doing? Complaining about the current procedures without offering viable alternatives for consideration is meaningless.

Dave Olsen
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I am unable to find anything in any of the above comments to disagree with. Even Bea! I do not live, work or own property in Batavia, in fact I spend as little time as possible in Batavia, so this affects me personally not at all. I just want to be a helpful guy and offer a few suggestions once in a while.

Trying to solve a problem with confrontation and a show of force is not a great idea. Creating confrontational situations and an "us against them" mentality is ill-advised, in my humble opinion. The officers of the Batavia Police Dept are by and large local folks who live in the area, raise their families here and are as invested in the quality of life here as anyone else.
If it was up to me, I'd suggest a much softer approach, like "We will be on your block to meet and greet everyone We will station cars and officers at either end of the block to wave and smile to everyone going in and out. If we recognize someone passing by who has a warrant out on them, then we will arrest. If you want to chat, come on out.Meet the Chief, meet your officers". Maybe set up a couple stations to make child ID packets, take a picture and fingerprints, which will be given to the parent/guardian in a packet to save(nothing retained by police) so they have readily accessible ID info in case the child goes missing. We did this years ago when my kids were in scouts, great idea. Have some other things of interest for people to come out for. Get DARE to come along. Some basic first aid training, get the fire dept involved on that, let folks know its one team working for them & with them, not at them. Bring a fire truck and a police car. Bring the K-9, kids love dogs, cops and fire trucks & will drag parents/grandparents out. Ask the Muckdogs to send a couple players. Make it a community event, hand out waters, sodas and apples. Hand out those cheap "Special Police Officer" badges we all had when we were kids, make a production about a swearing in or something, have some fun with it. Show your presence, humanize the police officers, that will help folks to be more open to sharing info about the stinkers in the neighborhood. It ain't rocket science.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And the flies are the problem.

Tim Miller
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Thank you, Bea, for pointing out the lack of coordination between the folks here who declare both "something must be done" and "why are they doing *that*", without any sipuggestions on how to handle it differently.

And than you, Dave, for filling in that last part nicely.

Timothy Scheuerlein
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Not a biggie but marijuana is misspelled in the above article.

Ed Hartgrove
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Actually, Timothy, marijuana can correctly be spelled using a J, an H, or a G. (If you google 'marihuana definition', and look at several of the 'dictionary' websites, you'll see this to be true.

But, no biggie there, either. It's all personal preference.

Have a great weekend.

Dave Olsen
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijuana_%28word%29#English_use

Apparently that's an older way of spelling it. Prohibition is about as regressive as the use of the h in spelling the word.

Ed Hartgrove
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Christopher: I would love to see any proof, statistics or polls that say, "The police cause more problems then (than) they will ever solve". Can you cite you sources for that statement?

As for how many people were violating a law (or laws), we really can't tell just by reading the press release. From the way I read it, there was the 'possibility' of at least 20 (3 marijuana possessions, 3 probation violations, and 14 traffic violations). Now, it's entirely possible that the 3 charged with possession were also the probation violators AND the traffic ticket recipients. As it reads, we just don't know.

Not sure what the laws in Washington or Colorado has to do with any of this. In Texas, there is one roadway where you can legally drive at 85mph. A couple other states have maximum speed limits of 80mph. In NY, driving at 80 or 85 is always against the law. Don't see the correlation you try to make about laws that exist in other locales.

And, lastly, I doubt that the police feel stupid OR usless when doing their job. But, that's just an assumption on my part.

Frank Bartholomew
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Dave, I agree, putting a whole different face on the police would be a very positive step in the right direction, many don't like the gestapo tactics.
I have empathy for those living in affected neighborhoods, but in my opinion, these tactics won't stop anything, in fact, I would be willing to bet, things will get worse.

John Roach
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From what people in that area have said, especially after the recent fight reported here, I bet the neighbors are happy with the sweep. You can not have it both ways when people who say crime is out of control, but don't send in too many cops.

And I agree with Ed. Where Chris did you get the idea the police cause more problems?

Frank Bartholomew
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John, I hope this will eliminate some of the problems these neighborhoods face, but I have seen these things get out of hand when I lived in Buffalo. As a taxpayer, I can't justify the cost- vs- the yield, 12 officers from multiple agencies, and the biggest bust is simple possession of weed, and I would be willing to bet none possessed over 8 grams of pot. What does that solve? That won't make your streets safer, it won't stop the fights, it accomplishes nothing, except the possibility of sending 3 more people to gcasa. If things are so bad, and this is the result we can expect, the taxpayers are taking a screwing.
Ed Hartgrove
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Maynard G. will hate me for beating on a broken drum, but I'll try this one more time.
Frank, unless you have more information than was given in the press release, we don't know what all resulted from this 'operation'. No breakdown was given for what tickets or violations were given.

For instance:
One of the parole violations (could have) been a child molester, on parole, who was caught with fresh child pornography in his jacket pocket - which, if that was the case, would've made the whole sweep worth every dime.
Yours and Christopher's comment (at least to me) seem to suggest that the 'worst' offenders were the 3 alleged pot possessers.
My point is, given the original press release, we don't know who all OR what all was found. And, until we hear more about the results of said sweep, we could speculate all day as to what the results are. We might never hear any more about it. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Brian Graziaplena
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And how much did this "unproductive" effort cost us taxpayers?

"the City of Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Drug Task Force (The Genesee Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from Batavia PD, Le Roy PD and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office), Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and Genesee County Probation... participated", and netted 3 menial marijuana arrests. ???!!!!!!

What, no cell phone, seat belt, or texting violations?

How about vehicles with their windows shaded too dark???

Ed Hartgrove
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Brian, I'm going to assume you read the whole article.
If you did, then .....
OH, NEVER MIND!
You probably wouldn't comprehend anything I might write to explain it, anyways.

John Roach
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Brain, the people in that area do not seem to be coming on here to cry about the attempt to do something. We just had a reported fight in that area. People there are upset about it and you have no real time solutions.

Some say that the landlords have to be more selective in who they rent to. That's nice to say, but they are free to rent to anyone who can pay. And while Genesee County Social Services could be more help, that would be a longer term solution that does nothing to address the problem right now. And we could hire more police, but nobody wants to pay more taxes either.

Will one "sweep" stop crime? Of course not, but it is better than sitting around doing nothing

Dave Olsen
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John, his name is Brian. I'm sure you think you're funny. Haha

Dave Olsen
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Ed, if that Task Force caught any child molesters or anyone with a significant amount of drugs or anything noteworthy, I guarantee you it would have been the headline of the press release. You want to defend this kind of taxpayer funded showboating, that lacks real effective criminal arrests, that is surely your right; but don't tell someone they are essentially too dumb to understand reality, when it's YOUR reality you refer to. Maybe Brian feels the same way about you. Opinions are like.....well, you know.........everybody has one. And I'm tired of smelling the "anything the cops do is alright" one.

John Roach
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Dave, no attempt at a joke. I did not look closely at my keystrokes and it's too late to edit..

Mark Potwora
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Why doesn't Vibrant Batavia run one of their cook outs on Lewis Place?

Jim Rosenbeck
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I believe that the local police are probably as frustrated as local residents. I give them credit for trying to do something and support them right up until the point that citizen's fourth amendment rights get violated. City residents should keep in mind that they bear some responsibility in aiding the police. We need to call the station EVERYTIME something untoward happens in our neighborhood. The squeaky wheel does get the grease. Also, we need to have realistic expectations about what the police can do. Don't expect someone to get arrested and taken away in cuffs just because we call. Remember irresponsible citizens have the same constitutional rights as we do. If we condone the suspension of our neighbors constitutional rights, then we must be ready to surrender our own. Increased patrols on problem streets and a police presence out in front of known problem houses would go along way toward discouraging illegal and irresponsible behavior. Park a police vehicle out in front, have a couple smiling officers present to meet and greet people on their way in and out of the problematic houses. A few timely pictures of people coming and going might be helpful too. Make the surveillance ridiculously obvious. Finally, lets get the city code officers focussed on more than whether our windows need to be scraped and painted. I heard one man at the third ward meeting describe this as the city code officers focussing on the "low hanging fruit". That is spot on! Lets start pressing the issue on abandoned homes and those in serious disrepair. If there are potential health and safety issues with a property that threaten a neighborhood...feral cats...rats...broken windows...dirty diapers on property, then the city code officer can justify an inspection of that property. So lets call that stuff in. Give the police and code officers the ammunition and legal probable cause to push the envelope with dead beat tenants and landlords. Waiting for a Zombie Law to possibly fix things seems like a poor strategy. As a city we need to act now and act boldly. Call the police. Call the code enforcement officers. Call your council person. Call the health department. Keep calling. We should never concede our neighborhoods.

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