I would like to address the article in the OBSERVER of Jan. 27, "Eliminate village police department." First, OBSERVER Publisher John D'Agostino and I have had several debates on this issue. He knows my concerns about not having a police presence in the village.
He himself has said where you have high taxes, you have poverty and crime. We certainly have high taxes and poverty when 49 percent of students receive breakfast and lunch at the school. We also have 17 homeless students in the district. I as a taxpayer do not want the crime. From 2008 when we had 3,140 calls for service to 2012 when we had 14,000 calls. The calls for service have increased by 400 percent.
Because of conflicts of interest between some members of this board and the department, three of our officers left, feeling they had no security in their jobs and no vote of confidence by this board. Then after causing all of this trouble, the sergeant jumps ship and goes to the Chautauqua County Sherriff's Department.
I am well aware that this village has no money, but other departments could have been downsized. When the flood hit in 2009 former trustee Andy Volk and I said send the streets department to the town, keeping only a place to house our equipment. Because these people had friends on the board, this was not done.
When Judge Thomas Buczkowski retired, it would have been a proper time to send the court to the town. Because there was no leadership from the board, we are stuck with a justice department for another two or three years - another conflict of interest.
This village is made up of 2,700 people, mostly elderly. I for one want to be able to call 911 and have someone to help me immediately. I do not want to wait 15, 20, 45 minutes or longer to get help.
Our officers not only try to ward off crime, they do all our village laws, garbage, illegal parking, grass, curfews, and other quality of life issues including cameras in the school and also in the park and in the police department. The town does not want to do this any longer and I can't blame them.
In my opinion this is the most dysfunctional board I have seen in this village since I became active in attending meetings which started in 1999. This board is made up on conflict of interests with employees and members who pay no village taxes. You are a sad and pitiful sight.
And in conclusion, I would like to remind Mr. D'Agostino that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. He will never have to face this issue where he lives because he will always have a local police department no matter how much he complains. But be assured, Mr. D'Agostino, I am out collecting stones. So notify your local police department that you don't like it, because they will watch your glass house for you.
Afford us that same privilege.
Anna Frederickson is a
Silver Creek resident.