POLICING: Regional force adds to patrols

Area law enforcement had its hands full last weekend during the annual Non Fred Fest that takes place predominantly on Canadaway, Eagle and White streets. Hundreds of students — as well as many outsiders — made their way to the village last weekend.

It was not a pretty picture. Besides the drinking, one was injured in a shooting, two were stabbed, another individual was badly beaten while properties — including those of businesses — were damaged.

Fredonia’s police force numbers less than 20. With all those incidents occurring just over two evenings, but mainly on May 4, that is a lot to ask of those who protect and serve.

As officers continue to sort out the incidents — and seek suspects for those who were involved in the gunshot event — they are to be commended for the work and long hours they put in during that weekend. Without their presence, it would have been a lot worse.

But the event also is one more reason to look at regional policing. Usually that proposal comes down to money. In this case, Non Fred Fest is just too big of an event for a small department to handle.

Fredonia officers received assistance from the county Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police and Dunkirk Police during some of that time period. That manpower was needed.

Fortunately, on the other 51 weekends, Fredonia’s downtown is much more laid back and friendly. Patrols then could be moved from the village to other areas that need it more.

Residents are comfortable with the current set up, which is understandable. But as we’re seeing in the county cities, policing and fire are big-ticket items that drive up expenses.

They’re needed. But they can be done more efficiently — especially as a team.


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