DUNKIRK: City keeping crime quiet

Westfield’s Police Department is the smallest of its kind in the county. However, it did something few other departments do in Chautauqua County after a rash of car larcenies and burglaries in the village. It actually warned residents by posting a notice on Facebook.

At a time when access has been restricted, rightly so due to concerns about COVID-19, getting information from law-enforcement agencies can sometimes be a struggle — for the public and the press. Take the Dunkirk Police Department as a specific example.

On March 11 after 8 p.m., two people were stabbed in an incident that occurred around Park Avenue. The department, which costs city taxpayers more than $4 million, never once put out a press release regarding the incident. In addition, at least three days of calls from the OBSERVER regarding the incident went unanswered.

How is that serving and protecting a community? It is actually lack of respect for the citizens they are supposed to serve.

Fortunately, county District Attorney Jason Schmidt updated this newspaper — as well as other county media — regarding the incident. He said a suspect in Pennsylvania was expected to be charged in first-degree assault in connection with the incident.

But consider this, Dunkirk residents: When was the last time you heard of burglaries and larcenies being reported in you community?

You don’t, because the department does not inform the public and would rather keep it quiet. Westfield, to their credit, let residents know.

That is truly how you protect and serve.


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