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Batavia PD

October 25, 2017 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, Batavia HS, news.

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Batavia High Schoold kicked off its monthly "Lunch with a Pro" series today, with the first career-minded guests coming from the Batavia PD.

Lunch with a Pro, organized by Anita Strollo, is a chance for high school students to learn firsthand from people in the community about different career opportunities.

Today, students who took time out during their lunch period, enjoyed pizza while touring the department's emergency response vehicle and talking with officers about what it takes to become a police officer and what it's like once you make it.

August 15, 2017 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

With a grant from the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services, Batavia PD will be able to outfit all officers with body cameras, Chief Shawn Heubusch told the City Council on Monday night.

In all, the $10,000 grant combined with funds already appropriated in the city budget will mean the department has a total of 32 body cameras.

"They're absolutely valuable," Heubusch said after the meeting. "I wouldn't be asking for 32 of them if I didn't think they were valuable. As far as from a prosecutorial standpoint, it collects evidence and firsthand accounts when this story is unfolding. So from that perspective, it helps in the prosecution aspect of a crime. When you're dealing with a victim or a suspect you have that person on film saying what they said, acting the way that they were acting at that point in time, and that could be introduced into evidence or it can be used to get a plea deal."

Twice the cameras have helped clear up accusations against officers by suspects, Heubusch said, so they've proven valuable in that respect as well.

"I think we see a lot more positive reaction (from officers) because they were very suspicious at first," Heubusch said. "They wanted to know, 'what are we getting ourselves into?' But the first time that they're dealing with the drunk alongside the road and they're able to go back and review that footage and see this is exactly what this person said, this is exactly how the person acted, and then present that in court, they see it's been very beneficial, or in the instance where somebody comes forward with a false claim against them."

Officers are supposed to activate the camera anytime they are responding to a "hot" call, Heubusch said. The camera should be on anytime there is an enforcement action.

Of course, Heubusch said, officers are human and in an active situation, turning on a body camera is not always the first thing that comes to mind.

"That's the first thing you forget to do is turn that on," Heubusch said. "In most cases that is the first thing you want to see, you want to see that turned on. So we understand there's a human element as well. So you know there is enough room within the policy to give the officers some individual leeway."

Officers also have the discretion to turn the camera off in situations where privacy is paramount, such as cases involving juveniles, especially as victims, confidential informants, or sensitive domestic calls, depending on the circumstances.

August 15, 2017 - 7:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins was recognized at the City Council meeting Monday night for his quick action the night of July 18 to render first aid to a stabbing victim on East Main Street.

Perkins found a victim with multiple stab wounds who was bleeding uncontrollably. Perkins applied a tourniquet to the victim's arm in an effort to stop the bleeding until EMS personnel arrived. 

For this life-saving effort, Perkins was recognized with a resolution of the City Council, a Batavia PD Life-Saver Award and an award from the University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center.

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August 14, 2017 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia and The University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center will be recognizing City of Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins on Aug. 14th at the Batavia City Council Meeting for his recent life-saving efforts performed on a victim with uncontrolled bleeding.

Shortly after midnight on July 18 Officer Perkins, along with other members of the City of Batavia Police Department, responded to a reported stabbing incident on East Main Street in the City. Upon Officer Perkins’ arrival, he located a subject down in the driveway that had a severe injury to his arm and was bleeding uncontrollably. Officer Perkins reacted quickly and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm in an effort to stop the bleeding while awaiting EMS. Without Officer Perkins’ quick response and tourniquet application, the outcome of the incident could have been much worse.

According to the University of Rochester Kessler Trauma Center uncontrolled hemorrhage continues to be the highest cause of preventable death in injured patients. Bleeding-control skills performed by bystanders and first responders, such as done by Officer Perkins, are being used to save lives on a daily basis.

Officer Perkins is being recognized for his quick action and dedication to service.

“Stop The Bleed” is a program created by the American College of Surgeons and is endorsed by the Federal Government as part of domestic preparedness. The course is designed to teach the public how to control life threatening bleeding with or without specialized equipment. There are many classes available to the public. Information about the program can be found at bleedingcontrol.org or by contacting the Kessler Trauma Center via e-mail at [email protected].

February 14, 2017 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Batavia PD, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Batavia High School Student Government in conjunction with Batavia Police Department raised $800 Monday night. The money will be used to give back to a BHS student or students in the form of a scholarship at awards night in the spring awarded to seniors looking into law enforcement or criminal justice.

This is the second year of the event and coincides with the high school "Snowcoming" week where BHS celebrates winter and winter athletes. The senior Class of 2017 beat out staff members and the Police Department team and will be awarded the trophy during the winter pep assembly later this week. 

Top photo: Submitted photo; photos below, by Howard Owens.

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February 1, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has installed two drop boxes, one for pharmaceuticals and one for sharps, in the rear vestibule at police headquarters for the public’s use.

Citizens may deposit unwanted pharmaceuticals, and sharps, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) in the drop boxes located at 10 W. Main St.

The drop boxes allow for the public to dispose of the following items in a safe, secure, anonymous way.

Acceptable items: Sharps, in a sharps container no larger than 2 liters, prescriptions, prescription patches, ointments, medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples, and medication for pets.

Non-acceptable items: Thermometers, aerosol sprays, inhalers, illicit drugs, hydrogen peroxide, perfume, cooking oil, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, detergents, and beauty supplies.

Small sharps containers will be available for free on top of the sharps drop box.

November 11, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Officers Marc Lawrence and James Defreze prepare coffee during a Coffee with Cops event hosted by Batavia PD this morning at Tim Hortons.

September 3, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sweet Pea's Cupcakery, batavia, business, news, Batavia PD.

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The day in the life of a police officer isn't always just about seeing bad people do bad things, they also see good people doing good things. And the folks at Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Cafe on Jackson Street wanted to provide a way for Batavia PD officers to reward the people they come across who do the little things to help make the community better. They made up "Random Act of Cupcake" cards for police officers to hand out to people they come across doing good things.

The cards read, "You've been caught doing good! Enjoy a free cupcake or cookie."

Pictured Lyndsey, from Sweet Pea's, and Officer Mitchell Cowen, who helped coordinate the effort with Batavia PD.

August 3, 2016 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Batavia PD has been conducting bicycle safety training at parks throughout the city this summer, in conjunction with the Youth Bureau. Today's bike rodeo was at Lions Park.

City fire also brought Ladder 15 to the park for the kids to check out.

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July 8, 2016 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, Pellegrino Auto Sales, batavia, news.

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I was in Guy Pellegrino's office late this afternoon and Guy and I even talked briefly about events in Dallas and he didn't mention this at all, but Batavia PD posted a thank you on their Facebook page: A thank you for a surprise lunch delivery to the police station from Pellegrino Auto Sales and City Church.

On the Pellegrino page, Pellegrino acknowledged the thank you and said, "Thank you Batavia Police Department for all you do!"

May 11, 2016 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emergency Response Team, batavia, Batavia PD, news.

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It was the Emergency Response Team's turn to train in the house on Ganson Avenue that is scheduled for demolition in a few weeks. The space gave the team a chance to practice on techniques such as clearing a residence room-by-room looking for a potentially hostile subject.

Previously: Photos: City fire rescue training on Ganson Avenue

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May 10, 2016 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Batavia PD.

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Police Officer Chad Richards wasn't available two weeks ago when the City Council presented its annual awards, so last night he received his Employee of the Year award from Council President Eugene Jankowski.

May 3, 2016 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

On April 22, the Batavia Police Department held its annual Awards Luncheon to honor members of the Department that have gone “above and beyond."

The following were recipients of various awards:

Service Awards – given to members of the Department for years of service

  • 5 Years of Service: Sgt. Matt Lutey
  • 10 Years of Service: Sgt. Chris Camp, Sgt. Eric Bolles
  • 15 Years of Service, 25 Years of Service: Detective Thad Mart, Officer Frank Klimjack, Officer Darryle Streeter

Citizen Commendation -- This award is presented to any person (or corporation) who is not a member of the department but who has materially aided the department or its officers in some way. This includes assistance in the solution of crime or the apprehension of criminals, aiding an officer in the field in a critical situation, and cooperation with or assistance to the department as a whole in any aspect of the department’s administration or operations.

Walmart of Batavia received this year’s award for sponsoring Genesee County’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop event held this past December. Walmart donated the gift cards used during the event and also supplied refreshments and snacks during the event. The event gives underprivileged children across the county an opportunity to purchase a gift or gifts for Christmas.

Certificate of Commendation – the following members received Certificates of Commendation:

  • Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk – for rendering aid to victims of a house fire, Dec. 20, 2015 at 5 Thomas Ave.
  • Detective Rich Schauf, Detective Kevin Czora, Officer Chad Richard and Officer Mitch Cowen – for assisting a citizen on Holland Avenue, April 17, 2015.
  • Officer Kevin DeFelice and Officer Marc Lawrence – for actions taken to locate and recover a vehicle that was reported stolen from the Village of Le Roy and apprehend the subject responsible for the theft, Jan. 8, 2015.
  • Officer Jason Davis – for action taken to assist a citizen in need of immediate medical care, Sept. 15, 2015.
  • Parking Enforcement Officer James Sheflin – for action taken to assist patrol officers in locate a subject in need of medical attention, April 1, 2015.

Life Saving Award – is awarded to any member of the department whose actions directly contribute to saving or significantly prolonging human life.

  • Officer Eric Foels – was the first officer on scene of an overnight structure fire at 5 Thomas Ave., after relaying to dispatchers that there were flames showing through the roof, he entered the building and began waking residents and ushering them to safety, furthering assisting by carrying an infant from the building to a neighbor’s house, Dec. 20, 2015.

Officer of the Year - Awarded to an officer annually for recognition as one who has consistently performed in an exemplary manner, is true to the ethics of the Batavia Police Department, and is highly deserving of the faith placed in him by the public.

  • Officer James DeFreze – Officer DeFreze was instrumental in organizing the first annual Shop-with-a-Cop program at Walmart and assisted with a great number of community events throughout the year, Officer DeFreze was further recognized by the YWCA for his assistance to victims of domestic violence. Officer DeFreze serves as one of the Department’s crisis negotiators and his skills were called upon several times during the past year.

All awardees were nominated by their peers and confirmed by a volunteer committee of various members of the Department.

Congratulations to all the recipients. 

February 12, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Batavia PD, batavia.

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Students and staff of Batavia High School along with officers of the Batavia Police Department participated in a volleyball tournament at the high school Thursday night.

The idea for the tournament started with Officer Pete Flanagan who contacted Lisa Robinson at the school. Robinson "took the idea and ran with it," Flanagan said, doing most of the work to get the event organized.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help with education costs for a student or students interested in a career in law enforcement.

Flanagan said he was really pleased with the turnout for a first-year event.

"Especially now days, with everything the way it is, we want to build a good relationship with the community and we wanted a chance to give back," Flanagan said.

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November 22, 2015 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia.

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Stacy Bolles, wife of Officer Eric Bolles, shared this picture of a group of wives of Batavia police officers showing their support of their husbands' work.

"We want everyone to know that we stand behind our husbands and support them in their duty to protect and serve, even though sometimes it means sacrificing our time with them," Stacy said. "Families of police miss having them at the holidays so they can protect other families. We share a sisterhood being police wives and we all care for and support each other."

September 29, 2015 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Police Facility, batavia, Batavia PD.

There was very little disagreement among council members Monday night when it came to a decision on what to do in regards to a future new police headquarters, but it took a lot of chatter to reach that conclusion.

After about 15 minutes of council members saying much the same thing many times over, the Batavia City Council, without a vote, but by consensus, agreed that the city should move forward with a task force recommendation to select Swan Street as the location for the proposed station.

The big question is how to pay for it, and council agreed to ask city staff to prepare a report on funding options and anticipated costs.

"We have a recommendation," said Councilwoman Kathy Briggs to open to the discussion. "The volunteers on the task force did all this work and so, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to act on this? I think it's time to step up to the plate. The task force gave us all the information, all the facts and figures, so I say, let's move forward with the recommendation and direct the administration to see what kind of grants are out there."

Councilwoman Rosemary Christian said she's received a few calls on the topic from residents worried about how the city is going to pay for it, so she wants to know how the city is going to pay for it. Are taxes going to be raised?

Councilman Kris Doeringer followed: "I move we come to a consensus to follow the recommendation with Swan Street and then direct the administration to come up with a report on how we're going to pay for it ... I think we all pretty much agree to follow the task force's recommendation, so, OK, yes, let's get that on the record and then move ahead and see how we're going to pay for it."

Briggs agreed with Doeringer.

Councilman Pierluigi Cipollone pointed out that options for paying for the station were pretty much spelled out in the task force's report.

"A lot of work has been done already on how we're going to pay for it," Cipollone said. "I think if you follow the report, the plan is we're going to pay down a lot of current debt and cycle that into paying for debt for the new facility. If we can get grants, so much the better, but quite a bit of work has gone into looking at this, and agree or disagree, here's how we're going to pay for it."

Christian: "I agree on the site. I do realize and appreciate that a lot of work went into this, but I'm still up in the air on how we're going to afford this."

Councilman Eugene Jankowski wondered if, given the amount of money involved, "if nine people should decide this." He wondered if the expenditure, especially if loans are involved, shouldn't go to a vote.

There was no answer to that question.

Councilman John Canale said he's heard from constituents who say other municipalities have built new police stations for a lot less than the estimates to build one in Batavia. He suggested those cities be researched and perhaps council members should visit those police stations and see if something similar would be suitable for Batavia.

"There may be some leg work that needs to be done here," Canale said.

September 24, 2015 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD.

A retired Batavia police officer is in critical but stable condition in a hospital in Homer after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Dennis Rider, 62, was reportedly trying to pass a dump truck that was making a left-hand turn on Route 90 when it wrecked.

The accident occurred Monday afternoon.

(Source: CNYCentral.com)

September 15, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in State Street, Batavia PD, surveillance camera, batavia, crime.

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A little more than a year ago, Batavia PD installed a surveillance camera on State Street near Hutchins Place, but Chief Shawn Heubusch said that a year's worth of use hasn't produced enough data to say if it's worthwhile for the city to invest in more such cameras for other locations.

There have been no criminal convictions resulting in use of the camera.

"A lot of times we look back and review footage and see if somebody is involved or not involved (in an incident)," Heubusch said. "It's always good to take a look back when you have video evidence of something."

Heubusch wouldn't reveal whether the camera's feed is regularly monitored, if whole periods of time are regularly reviewed, or if it's only reviewed in the case of specific incidents reported.

Making light of his reluctance to discuss that point, he said, "I don't know if I want to give any secrets away."

The camera was installed in August 2014 because that particular area had been a source of numerous calls for police service in the proceeding months.

Asked if he'd like more cameras, Heubusch said, "we're still evaluating this one."

"It's been up about a year," Heubusch said. "I don't know if that's the perfect time frame for an evaluation period. If it proves its worth, then yes."

The department also has available for patrols a number of body cameras, but not enough for every officer to wear them on every shift.

While body cameras have been touted in the national debate over police conduct, Heubusch said that's not why he wants his officers to wear them.

"The whole premise for my bringing body cameras to the City of Batavia was to collect evidence," Heubusch said. "It wasn't to monitor my officers. I don't think they need that. What it (the camera) does is collect evidence that can subsequently be used at trial or a proceeding so the officer's recollection is always there. You have it in black and white."

August 11, 2015 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, Batavia PD.

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A picnic table like this one costs up to $500 each. Of course, writing a few letters on it, or drawing a Batman symbol on it, isn't going to mean it needs to be replaced, but taxpayers did purchase it.

Saturday, John F. Brown, 56, of Woodcrest Drive, Batavia, was allegedly caught marking on a picnic table like this one at Williams Park. He is charged with criminal tampering, 3rd. 

Not the crime of the century, a fact repeatedly noted by readers on The Batavian and on The Batavian's Facebook page.

However, City Manager Jason Molino has raised the issue to City Council several times over the past two years -- the city is facing a costly problem, vandalism in the city's parks. The vandalism is costing taxpayers thousands of dollars a year, Molino said.  

"When you say vandalism, it could be broke things, it could be from people defecating on the walls in the bathroom, which they do, or writing on the walls," Molino said. "We pay to clean that up."

Vandals destroyed a $10,000 slide in Austin Park last year. Another took a baseball bat to a water fountain. It's still out of service. Tennis nets and poles have been destroyed, basketball nets ripped down and bathroom fixtures broken.

The vandalism along with other potential criminal activity in the parks has police officers being a little extra vigilant, said Molino.

"Vandalism is one thing, but there are things that happen in parks after dusk, and no one is immune to it in any community," Molino said. "You've got sometimes drug use, vandalism, other things, and the patrols being out, checking on the parks is part of their regular patrols and it is important. Making sure people aren't doing bad things there, whether it's vandalism or something else."

Chief Shawn Heubusch said he's well aware of the heightened concern about vandalism in the parks, but that isn't the only reason officers take some time as part of their regular patrols to check on the parks.

"This is a concern of the city," Heubusch said. "We're dealing with people destroying property. Are there bigger crimes out there we could be pursuing, absolutely there are, but we have to acknowledge and we have to work on all crimes that take place in the city, not just the ones that get headlines, so to speak."

Brown's arrest was the result of an officer, Jason Davis, doing his job and checking on a park, Heubusch said. It just happened to be an allegation of vandalism this time.  

"When they're patrolling, that's an officer's job," Heubusch said.. "They're looking for people that are committing crimes. They're looking for people who are breaking the law. They're looking to make a difference, so the officer who observed him doing this was doing his job."

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Photo for illustration purposes only. We don't know who the suspect is for this vandalism.

August 11, 2015 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Police Facility, batavia, Batavia PD.

The future home of the Batavia Police Department is now in the hands of nine City Council members after Marc Staley, chairman of the Police Facilities Task Force, delivered his committee's report at Monday night's meeting.

Council members congratulated Staley and his task force on their effort and a couple of members thanked him for delivering a clear report that focuses on a single recommendation.

"Thanks to the task force for giving us a recommendation for the best site," said Councilwoman Patti Pacino. "That will make our job easier."

The task force recommended a location on Swan Street, the site of the former Wiard Plow factory, which is currently owned by Tom Mancuso.

It will be up to the council to decide whether to make a purchase offer on the property, likely contingent on environmental clean-up studies and remediation, and whether to seek funding, through a bond and grants, to build a new facility at that location.

None of the council members expressed any opinion either way on whether they will support the proposal.

If they don't, it leaves Batavia PD housed in a former mansion that is more than 150 years old, ill-suited to modern police work, misconfigured for optimal officer safety and it needs substantial cosmetic, mechanical and structural repairs and upgrades.

Staley noted that as the task force's work came to a close, several people in the community complained that the task force didn't consider consolidating law enforcement work with the Sheriff's Office.

"I just want to make one minor editorial comment, if I could," Staley said at the end of his presentation. "You did not ask us 'Should we merge with the Sheriff?' You did not ask us about shared resources. You did not ask us to deal with numbers as far as a downside without this process. You simply said 'Something needs to be done about the police facility. Should we stay? Should we go?' -- so we went out into the community and did our own research and the Swan Street location made the most sense."

The task force worked for more than 55 hours over several months on the project. They considered at least eight possible locations for the facility, including two that were not on the original list drawn up by city staff.

Swan Street, which was still tied up at the time in a legal battle over code violations, wasn't on that list.

Committee members drove around Batavia looking at all of the alternatives, which is how Swan Street and a location at Alva and Bank, ultimately rejected, came under consideration. The committee then whittled the list down to three finalists -- the Salvation Army location on Jackson Street, Alva Place and Swan Street -- and made site visits.

Jackson Street was eliminated when more information came forth about the financial impact of the property being in a flood zone. Alva lost out to Swan largely over concerns about the impact on surrounding businesses and the potential security liability of the location as well as traffic concerns for ingress and egress.

All but one task force member supported Swan Street in the final decision. The site is seen as centrally located with easy access in an area brimming with development potential, but currently underused and not generating significant tax revenue for the city. The large lot also gives the city options for expansion, if needed, and could be a boon for future redevelopment at the Harvester Center.

The council will take up the discussion of the report at a future conference meeting.

Previous coverage: Police Facility.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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