The Town of Dunkirk has a reminder for residents: in case of emergency, call 911, not the City of Dunkirk Police Department.
At a special meeting of the town board, Supervisor Richard Purol said the town has contracted the city police to patrol select areas in the town for 12 hours per week.
"The sheriff and state police are still our primary law enforcement," Purol said. "The City of Dunkirk is only supplementary."
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Town of Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol urged residents to call 911 in the case of emergencies, not the Dunkirk Police Department.
By calling 911, town residents will directly be connected to the law enforcement agency most readily available at the time of the call. If residents call Dunkirk police, response to the call could take added time because the city is not the responsible jurisdiction for emergencies in the town.
"Town residents are still to call 911 or the Sheriff's Department. We will not be taking calls or responding cars to day-to-day activities," City of Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano stated when the City of Dunkirk Common Council discussed the shared services agreement at a meeting in August.
"When our officers are out on routine patrol, when they are available, they will go out to the business and residential security checks ... when they are available to do that. They will be assigned by the shift supervisor to do that ... if we have a car available to respond to provide this service to the town," Ortolano told the city's council.
At that meeting, City of Dunkirk Mayor Anthony Dolce stated, "I can't emphasize enough that the city will simply be providing secondary police patrol in the town of Dunkirk. The purpose is to increase visibility in the neighborhoods and the business district in the town of Dunkirk. ... Our officers will patrol those areas for a total of 12 hours a week maximum. The dates and times will fluctuate as we are available to provide such service. That is something that we agreed to with the town."
Purol said he recently completed a tour of the town with Lieutenant Polowy of the Dunkirk Police Department. "We drove through the town and I showed him the places we want looked at more than others," Purol stated, and noted some local businesses were of particular concern.
The agreement with the city will expire at the end of the year, after which the board will assess its effectiveness and decide whether or not to pursue an additional contract.
At the August meeting, Dolce said at the end of the contract term, "The two different municipalities can amend the contract so that it becomes agreeable for both sides, or, we can walk away," he explained. "I feel, and again I stress, that both municipalities are merely dipping their toe in the water here."
Comments on this article may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org