Since the start of the new year, the Dunkirk Police Department has made a number of arrests that probably cause a great deal of concern for those who live in the community.
Besides a number of arrests for burglaries, there have been charges filed against four from Buffalo for thefts at the D&F Plaza, an arrest in an armed robbery at the Alma Latina Mex Restaurant, a number of drug-related incidents, a rape as well as driving while intoxicated and minor fender-benders. Without question, all these incidents hit home.
Some of these crimes take little investigation. Others, however, need the assistance of the community.
In an article last week by Gib Snyder that documented the increased activity for the city department in 2013, city Police Chief David Ortolano made it clear that solving many criminal activities rely on residents to step forward.
"We've had several cases last year, a couple of burglary cases, the majority of our narcotics cases, are from people coming forward and giving us information," the chief said. "Don't draw your blinds and act like it's not happening. Call us, get involved. Be willing to step up and make a difference in the community because that's what's making a difference, especially in our narcotic enforcement, burglaries, house entries.
"That's how we solve those house entries because people come forward and say I saw this, or I saw that guy, or I saw this car leaving the area. It may lead us to something, it may not, but a lot of times it gives us the information we need to keep taking those steps in the investigation to solve these crimes that are unsettling to the community."
Crime prevention is not only about a police presence, it is also about creating a neighborhood where criminals know residents are watching out for each other.
If you have information, the police will always welcome your call. The desk number for the department is 366-2266 and the confidential tip line is 363-0313.