This News Story caught my attention as "baffling" because I live in The Falls and it seems nothing ever happens; however, I guess that's not the case.

According to the research I did, living in Niagara Falls, NY is only 2% safer than anywhere else in the United States.  Whoa!  I live here and had no idea.  The stats are of course based on per capita numbers, but still ... Wow.

Yesterday WGRZ Headlines read as follows:

Niagara Falls 'Safe Shopping Initiative' underway

The headline is followed by a Sub-Title which reads:

Over the next few weeks, Niagara Falls Police will increase the number of patrols around shopping centers.

The written article does not specify why there is increased Police Patrol needed, but I did see that the article is categorized under 'CRIME'... which caused my eyebrows to raise and my curiosity to wonder...WHY? ...and, as a matter of fact, the WGRZ article says that this a 'RETURN' initiative, implying this is not the first time the 'Safe Shopping Initiative' has been implemented.

There is a link within the article that makes reference to:

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster making the request April 25 to the City Council in response to concerns about crime rates in the area. 

CRIME RATES?  As I said earlier, I live in the Falls and it's a very calm and safe community as far as I'm concerned.  I mean I do hear about very few incidents of crime from time to time, but nothing major seems to take place and the incidents of crime seem to be extremely infrequent.

However... The letter from the Mayor reads as follows:

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR Telephone: (716) 286-4310 April 25, 2019 The City Council Niagara Falls, New York

RE: Police Department “Safe Shopping” Business District Initiative Council Members:

In order to enhance the Police presence in the Pine Avenue Business District, Niagara Street Business District, North End Business District, Downtown Business District, Route 62 Business District and Buffalo Avenue Business District it is requested that a total of $50,000.00 be made available to the Police Department overtime line for this purpose. This program will consist of uniform and plain clothes patrol, and will be deployed for maximum effect at the discretion of the Superintendent of Police. This program is scheduled to begin May 1, 2019 and run for fifteen (15) weeks. Funding is available from Casino Revenues. Will the Council so approve?

Respectfully submitted, PAUL A. DYSTER Mayor Funding is in place __________________________ Daniel Morello City Controller

Here's the link to the actual letter (below):

The response from the City Niagara Falls Council reads as follows:

 

City of Niagara Falls, New York P.O. Box 69, Niagara Falls, NY 14302- 0069 April 12, 2019 Members of the City Council and Lisa Vitello, City Clerk Council Members and Madam:

You are hereby notified of a Special Meeting of the City Council of the City of Niagara Falls, New York called pursuant to Section 3.9.b of the City Charter, to be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 745 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York for the following purpose: Consider and act on all matters on City Council agenda for the meeting scheduled to take place on May 1, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Andrew Touma, Chair

Here's the link to the actual response letter (below):

Still baffled as to why the request, as it relates to the Niagara Falls Crime Rate, I called the Niagara Falls Police Department as well as City Hall to get an answer and I got exactly what I was looking for ... AN ANSWER.

I spoke at length with Mark Diodate - Executive Assistant City Council who informed me as to why this initiative is taking place.   In addition to various crimes throughout the Niagara Falls area, and mainly the crimes that have taken place in broad daylight on Pine Ave, there was one incident that sparked ultimate concern and prompted a call to action.  I had not heard about the incident but Council Member Diodate not only informed me but sent me numerous News articles regarding the incident which I've I've attached below.   

The incident prompted this Press Conference:

There was an event relative to and in conjunction with the  'Safe Shopping Initiative', organized by the Niagara Falls Police in an effort to include the Community prior to the initiative starting so that any question and concerns could be answered, but also to attempt to bridge the gap between the community and the Niagara Falls Police.  I

I spoke with Lieutenant Ron Cirruli regarding that effort:

https://studio.youtube.com/video/qGwvqsKhzhA/edit

Beyond the Community effort mentioned above and the 'Safe Shopping Initiative', Executive Assistant City Council, Mark Diodate informed me that there are City Council meetings are held every other week in the City Council Chambers, Room 116 at City Hall, 745 Main Street.

You can attend the meetings and voice any concerns you might have.  Here are the details regarding being a speaker at any of the Council meetings:

If you would like to speak at the City Council meeting, you must sign in before the Legislative meeting with the City Clerk.

  • Citizens may speak on agenda items and/or “for the good of the city.”

NOTE: The Chairperson will enable members of the public to speak on any topic of concern to the welfare of the City for a time not to exceed five (5) minutes for each person; he/she may limit the number of speakers on a topic or agenda item or the overall public speaking time if the same will unduly delay the commencement of the agenda. (The Chair may at his/her sole discretion, extend a speaker’s time by no more than two (2) minutes where the speaker has requested such additional time prior to the commencement of the meeting on an agenda item. Here are more stories you might enjoy:

Here is a schedule showing when the Legislative meetings will take:

2019 City Council Meeting Schedule

 

January 2 June 26
January 23 July 10
February 6 July 24
February 20 August – Recess
March 6 September 4
March 20 September 18
April 3 October 2
April 30 October 16
May 15 October 30
May 29 November 13
June 12 December 11

 The Council is in recess for the month of August.

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