A city of Dunkirk resident was quick and to the point when asking questions during the recent Common Council meeting.
Greg Sek, a two-time Democratic candidate for council, said he had a question for Police Chief David Ortolano.
"I've heard there's been a rash of break-ins in the First Ward during the daytime and why isn't the public notified about this?" Sek asked. "And second of all, what's my rights as a homeowner? If I catch somebody breaking in, what can I do to protect my house?"
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
City of Dunkirk First Ward resident Greg Sek asked about home break-ins during the Common Council meeting.
Ortolano replied that reports about incidents have been in the local media and he has advised people like the department does.
"If they see anything suspicious, if they see anything out of the ordinary, call the desk right away," the chief replied. "We're doing everything we possibly can."
Sek asked again about his rights if someone is breaking into his house.
"You have the right to protect yourself," Ortolano replied.
"Now, how far did that go?" Sek asked.
"You have the right to protect yourself," the chief replied again.
Sek asked if City Attorney Ron Szot would address his question.
"I'm not going to give you legal advice on how to protect your property or not," Szot replied.
"Just take a chance, right?" Sek asked. "Thanks."
"I gave you my answer," Szot stated.
After the meeting, Ortolano wanted to make sure people pay attention to their surroundings.
"As always, we remind everyone, especially with the holidays approaching, if they see anything suspicious or anybody suspicious, to call the police department right away with any information that they have," he stated. "I want to commend some of the residents in the First Ward because our calls have increased ten fold with local citizens who are calling us and letting us know when they see a suspicious person or something that isn't right.
"The citizens have been paying attention and calling the desk. That's what we want them to do for us."
The chief advised residents they can call 24 hours a day. The Police Department desk number is 366-2266 and the confidential tip line number is 363-0313.
Send comments on this story to firstname.lastname@example.org