FREDONIA: Don’t jump gun on police hire
Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers is seeking more help for his department in the form of another full-time officer. Meyers’ point to the village board is simple. When he started with the department, there were 16 full-time positions, today there are 14.
Board members held off on making a decision last week and must not rush to judgment anytime soon. There are some factors to consider other than just creating a new position.
First and foremost, the village has lost significant population. Over the last eight years, 734 fewer residents — or about 6.5% — are in the village. In one report, on newyorkupstate.com, it noted Fredonia’s loss of population makes it 33rd out of the 50 fastest shrinking communities in the state.
Second, we already have five police agencies that surround the village — and others that respond within it. Besides the village department, there’s State Police at Fredonia, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, State University Police at Fredonia and Dunkirk Police for significant mutual aid calls.
Adding an officer — besides an added cost to the village and taxpayers — does one more thing: it discourages regional efforts. We already have excellent police forces. Their potential as one is even greater.