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September 29, 2013 - 6:47pm

Big brawl in vicinity of State Street and Lewis Place

posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

About 30 people are, or were, reportedly fighting on State Street in the vicinity of Lewis Place. Police are on scene.

tom hunt
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Batavia......fight city.

wayne bell
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Being that most of the homes in that area are used by renters, I thought the city was going to make landlord responible for continually Havin problems at thier properties. This is the second incident in one weekend. I as long as many others will not walk down State Street at night, some won't do it during the day.

I just hope it doesn't esscalate into a innocent bystander or a police officer getting hurt or worse.

The city conscil should take time with this matter and stop worring about who is going to pick up the trash. The trash needs to be takin out of State Street and Lewis Ave. first.

Gary Spencer
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If there are any arrests, all the names will be recogizable to us all!

Beth Kinsley
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They need foot patrols and/or bike patrols to monitor the area. It's not fair to the decent, law-abiding citizens who live in the area and, yes, there are plenty.

Steve Hackett
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News flash Beth....I hate to be the burden of bad news but, the law abiditing citizens are few and far between in that area....its to bad.....there is a lot of that going around Batavia these days......take a good look at what you see in the city....boy has it changed in the last twenty years.....and not for the good...I might add!

Gary Spencer
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sorry to disagee Steve, there are plenty of law aboding citizens in the area of State St., however, they don't make the news. The criminals and trouble makers make the news and give the nieghborhood a bad name.com I do agree that thing have changed in the past 20 years, and not for the good, something needs to be done, but to condem the entire neighborhood is NOT the answer.

scott williams
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i dont think anyone is condenming the whole area but this is terrible area I believe the city leaders need to quit letting Pathstone section 8 housing in this town and you wont recognize these people because ita the Gangs from Rochester doing it and the City Leaders are in denial because they dont want to frighten people well hello most people in this city already are! Something terrible is going to happen in this city and then it will be to late

Steve Hackett
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I was referring to the the area of state and Lewis place Gary....not the entire neighborhood....I have a scanner next to my bed... that I leave on all night...that area is very popular and keeps " batavias finest "....very busy , on an almost daily basis!

scott williams
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wayne you will never see this city enforce that law against landlords because thats who the city cares most about here.There is three houses on my street who have the cops at them constantly and nothing is done and when you complain they treat you like your the problem. With the Mount of rentals in this city their should be a housing cop just for rentals. but that wont happen batavia loves urban decay. yet they want to make a new road downtown for more empty store space. I ask you what business wants to open in a community that is so repressed and run down. Lets hire another company to tell us they noticed we roll up our hoses in this town.WTH..

scott williams
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i love my city and pick up trash on my street weekly but need my city to help..

RICHARD L. HALE
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They should have combined the State Street-Lewis Place neighborhood with the Rotary Brewfest...............

Talk about a "VIBRANT BATAVIA !!!!"

John Woodworth JR
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The problem also exist because, Genesee County allows welfare recipients to collect here without being a citizen of this county for a period of time. I am not saying all welfare recipients are fraud cases or criminal but, there seems to be an abundance in this group. Why get a job when the government will give you everything?

Gangs have been moving in for years and like you stated the City Leaders are in denial. Maybe some are bribed by them. No saying they are but, today you never know. Corruption is in all levels of government.

People are too scare to fight and take back their community because, they feel that cannot or just a fear they cannot, not to mention they worry about retaliation by gang members. Nothing will be done until the commission of a crime takes place and even then nothing is really done to prevent and further incidents. The only way things will change is by the residents reporting and elected officials following through.

John Roach
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And this year you hear people saying we have too many cops or don't need the City Police at all.

Dave Olsen
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So John are saying you are for increasing the city police force?

Dave Olsen
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This may be a dumb question and I'm sure more than 1 will let me know if so, But What in the hell are all these people fighting about?

John Roach
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Dave,
No, but I want to keep it, not get rid of it as some do. The City can save a lot of money by just letting the Sheriff do this, but I am willing to pay more to have my own police. It depends on what and how much you are willing to pay.

Are you for eliminating the City Police?

Dave Olsen
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I don't have a position on the city police, as i don't live or work or own property in the city and it's not for me to say. I do agree that a lot of money can be saved by doing so. It makes sense to me. What I do and have always thought is that all governments including the city and the county as well as the state should put out budgets for public voting, that way the people can decide what they want to pay for, specifically.

Jim Rosenbeck
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I would like to see a two pronged approach in troubled neighborhoods. First, lets park a patrol car right out in front of houses in question and have a pair of police officers walk a regular beat on the streets that are already demanding regular attention. We know where the problems come from. Lets be proactive rather than reactive to problems. Preventing a fight is always preferable to breaking one up. A police presence on the sidewalks will discourage illegal and nuisance behavior while helping to make law abiding residents feel safer in their homes. There should be zero tolerance for individual behavior that infringes on the rights of others to peacefully enjoy their lives, families and homes.
Second, lets vigorously enforce city code . If garbage or junk is piling up in these yards, cite the property owner each and every time. It shouldn't take long before the property owners and tenants comply to reasonable standards of behavior or get out of town. Wear them down with citations, fines and court appearances. We need to be more commited to reclaiming the city than those who are committed to damaging it.

Kyle Couchman
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The police presence is a good idea Jim. However, the code enforcement route is gonna be problematic. Being involved in Ithaca politics as I was there were big issues in the city's collegetown neighborhoods on trash, standards of behavior and so on. The only thing that the city can do besides keeping records of incidents is penalize the landlords. And you wont get very far with that.... Landlords will either close up shop because they begin to lose money, then you have an empty bldg. Or they will band together and fight back, getting the state and fed housing programs together and claim mistreatment and leading to a bigger mess.

The key is getting neighborhoods involved. The only reason a bully continues to be a bully is because he is enabled and protected and excused for their actions. Landlords are businessmen and as long as they have rents coming in and arent forced to keep an apartment at a standard then... They arent gonna care cause it isnt their problem. Landlords that live in the neighborhood or in the buildings do manage their properties different than those who dont. Maybe any Landlord with over a certain amount of properties, or over a certain distance from the city should be required to have a Supervisor or Property Manager onsite. We dont see these problems much at the apt communities here like Washington Towers and 400 Towers and Parksite Manor and so on.

The second thing is we need to get an anyonymous reporting system in with our local police. People become afraid cause the wannabe gangsters of this city game the system. In this day and age the AG in the city and county can pick up charges if victims are too afraid to testify or file. It requires some effort though on the part of police and the AG's office to do so. We all know who the troublemakers are. We see the same names in the blotter time after time, On the neighborhood level everyone knows where the action is and who the players are. Something can be done, but you need to do something, that action has to come from the police and Ag as well as the neighborhoods.

Mark Brudz
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http://thebatavian.com/howard-owens/photos-foot-patrol-maple-street/38779

That is a question of available man power, you will note in the article from this summer, the officers were detectives that donned their uniforms. If you flood the neighborhood with police, you have to pull them from other duties.

I am not saying that is not a good idea Jim, in fact it is a good idea, but there is a cost involved. That is something that Batavia city residents have to realize and accept if we take that approach.

With regard to code enforcement on the scale that you mention, there is a manpower and political cost involved there as well. Again a good idea but with a cost.

I for one would be on board with that, the question is, will the other taxpayers in the city be willing to pay the price, and when and how do you step that down for budgetary demands. .

Mark Brudz
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Getting the community involved is always the best place to start Kyle, on that point you are absolutely correct.

Kyle Couchman
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It seems like a simple problem Mark, and Jim's solution seems very simple too.... But I can only comment on Batavia's dynamic from what I see. I know someone who had a gun pulled on him last night. It was reported but between the agressors and the victims and the neighborhood witnesses. People were reluctant to contact the police. Mostly because they feared repercussions from speaking out. Our community is small enough for his to be a concern. Add that to the obvious lenientcy of the local courts (ie same people being arrested for the same thing time after time after time) It makes people give up.

Phil Ricci
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I love reading all of these "it's getting so bad!" comments. You have a small segment of the population that behaves poorly, and now things are going straight to heck!

John,

Using this as a way to justify having three different law enforcement departments to patrol is an old and tired excuse to spend money . You sound like every conservative I've ever heard telling me why I need to fight foreign wars for my "safety".

Let's all try to be rational adults and realize having three levels of different administrations and costs is asinine, and doesn't make us more safe. We streamline it and make it more effiencient.

It's not rocket science, and it doesn't have to be the emotional issue you're trying to create.

Mark Brudz
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Kyle, My point was in my reply to Jim, that while a good idea, there isn't a simple solution. With regard to the people being arrested time and time again and lenient court system, there is also a cost involved there as well. That said, that is the single thing that stymies law enforcement the most, the courts and law enforcement are not one, they are separate entities. The District Attorney is not the judge, I am pretty sure that some of these characters involved the DA would love to see behind bars.

The $300 or $400 a day it takes to incarcerate someone not only affects the city residents but the county residents as well.

We have a societal problem brewing here, the "I don't want to get involved" or the "Fear of retaliation" argument is not because the police aren't doing something, it is because that mentality is prevalent in general. While I totally understand the retaliation fears, until such time as the community as a whole and en masse stands up, the problem will persist.

John Roach
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Phil, are you saying the Libertarian Party would eliminate the City Police Department?

Ted Wenzka
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John,
Sheriff deputies could handle this as well as city police.

John Roach
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Ted, I didn't say the Sheriff couldn't do a good job, but I do think police officers that do not also cover Leroy or Corfu, but only the City would know the City better.

And I do not argue that money could be saved by only having the Sheriff Department. I did say that this is one extra cost I am willing to pay. And I think this should be an issue this election before we go and repair the old police station or build a new one.

Mark Potwora
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Where does Mr.Canale who represents this area on city council stand on how to deal with this..Same goes for Mr.Hawely who is the at large council person..The problems on State and Lewis street have been there for years ...I don't think this is anything new..Creating a larger police force is not the answer..Use the police you have including the Sheriff that we all pay for and patrol that area more often..Like Jim said walk that area on foot ..This area is only one block from city hall and the police station..There should be patrol cars and city personal driving thru that area all day. ..Maybe even have a few fireman drive thru there to keep an eye on things..We have the city personal to deal with this just have to use the resources better.

Mark Brudz
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Turning this into a county wide law enforcement entity vs. a city police entity detracts completely from the immediate problem.

1. This neighborhood and two others in the city have been trouble spots for years yes, and this in the past year seems to be escalating.

2. Whether the law enforcement entity dealing with it is administrated by the county or a local PD is a valid argument for another day. The fact is there are 457 squares miles patrolled by 36 deputies in shifts and 5.2 square miles patrolled by 32 officers is unlikely to change no matter if run by the sheriff's department or with a city PD. Savings in administration yes, but reducing actual patrols and investigators available would remain relatively the same.

3. Good community policing is contingent on good community involvement and support, And that is the real question here

That takes manpower no matter who administers regardless. It also takes community members standing up and demanding that the issue be addressed. City council members, residents and law enforcement need to be on the same page on this particular issue as it truly does appear to be escalating. Arguments for and against maintaining a City Police department should pretty much be a separate issue at the moment and the mere argument detracts greatly from addressing the problem at hand.

Kyle Couchman
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Mark one of the ideas running through my head is chain gang style public or community service. These knuckleheads that constantly get in trouble could be assigned community service and be sent on to do some of the beautification and maintenence issues the city has..... Like sidewalk repair, street and empty lot cleanup, and so on. Using them as labor may be at least a partial answer for some of these issues, and pride or humility may just alter the attitude of some. It's not a whole answer but it is a possible step in the right direction....

Mark Brudz
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Mark

1. Firemen are NOT policemen and should not be employed as such

2. No one ever said grow the police department larger, what was said was there was a cost, that cost is in the allocation of resources pretty much as you suggest. Remember pulling an officer from regular duties to establish a walking beat means limiting that officers response to his/her other assigned duties or incidents outside of that neighborhood, that is the COST, not necessarily monetary cost but a cost all the same.

3. It is incumbent of city council members, law enforcement and yes RESIDENTS to come together with both a strategy and the implementation of that strategy

Again Good Community Policing is contingent on Good Community involvement and that includes the council members All of us here posting moans and groans can not replace picking up the phone and dialing 911. And the fear of retaliation can only be mitigated with the support of the community at large,

Mark Brudz
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That is one step Kyle, but there is a cost to that as well. Chain Gangs require management and supervision, while a good idea, surely you can agree that is only one solution that requires several solutions.

My question is how do you implement it, if through the courts will require guards. You can not force someone to work 'Chain Gang' style if they do not want to unless as part of a sentence.

So community involvement again becomes key, it will take community leaders and volunteering residents to inspire those less inclined unless it is done through the courts, and still would require arrest and adjudication.

Don't get me wrong, a great idea though

Phil Ricci
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John,

Pathetic how you ignore issues to try to score some silly, and wasteful, political points. So let me answer you directly.

My name is Phil Ricci. I am an individual. I have thoughts all my own, and don't need a party to have them. I'm sorry you do not.

The Libertarian Party cannot eliminate anything. It cannot be elected. Again, I'm sorry you don't understand the difference,

If you would like to know what our two candidates believe, ask them. I do not speak for them.

The problem with you, John is that you like to play politics, instead of actually solving problems. It's just a game to you, and it is THAT mindset that keeps nonsense running strong.

It saddens me.

If you want my opinion, I believe that the residents of the city of Batavia should decide if we should merge or not. They should have facts, not silly emotional rants like you spew, and it should be debated on merit.

Then we all should vote on it. That's what I believe.

I can't wait to see how you'll ignore this and try to make some political game of it now.

Mark Potwora
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Mark my point about firemen was that if they are also out driving around the city can also go thru this neighborhood..Not be policeman but show city presence...More city eyes on that problem area to report things that are not on the up and up...This problem is not new..We all agree that this part of the city needs more attention ,its just how do it using all city resources wisely....Maybe one could be for Viberant Batavia to meet in that area at Centennial Park...Hear what those residents feel the need is too solve this problem is..Those that live there have a better take on wants going on then most of us...

The Sheriffs dept is also a block away the could easily drive thru that area on there way to patrol county roads..

Mark Brudz
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"Maybe one could be for Viberant Batavia to meet in that area at Centennial Park...Hear what those residents feel the need is too solve this problem is..Those that live there have a better take on wants going on then most of us..."

Definitely with you on that one Mark. That is a perfect example of what I mean by community involvement

Howard B. Owens
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One of the things that interesting to me about New York is that even the people who call themselves conservatives look to the government for solutions.

Hire more police. Lock um up longer. Fine the landlords.

Government. Government. Government.

The government can't solve community problems.

Only the community can solve community problems.

Let's put a police officer every 100 yards on State Street. Let's put cameras on every utility pole. Let's have daily visits by code enforcement officers. Let's lock up everybody who gets arrested for disorderly conduct or harassment 2nd for 10 years (as if the law would allow that, which some people seem to think it does) Will that really solve the problem, or mask it, or just move it elsewhere? At what expense to taxpayers and the loss of liberty that goes along with creating a police state.

State Street is pretty picayune compared to what people deal with in Rochester. Contrary to the reaction of some, the sky is not falling.

It may fall, if the issues on State are not addressed, but things haven't gotten that bad yet.

Say what you will about Vibrant Batavia, but at least it's a search for a mechanism to build stronger community involvement to address these kinds of issues.

A strong community finds ways to deal with these problems that doesn't involve the expansion of government.

James T. Hansen
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The town will never merge with the city. Not willingly.

Rochester's refuges (and for that matter Buffalo's, NYC's, and states with less generous benefits) will continue to flock to Batavia as long as the city encourages this. The reasoning is better to have tax generating state subsidized section 8 housing vs non-tax generating decaying vacant properties.

Phil Ricci
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Howard,

I completely agree.

John Roach
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Howard,
So far, nobody has said anything about hiring more police. either for the City or the County.

Sure, Phil is right, we can do without the City Police, but do we want to? We are about to spend $45,000 to study the needs of a police headquarters. Do we keep and repair the 160 year old building, move to another building or build a new headquarters.

Maybe we should first ask do we want a local police department before we spend too much money on a headquarters.

Howard B. Owens
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John, every person who says "more patrols on State Street" is saying, "hire more officers." That's the only way to increase patrols on an already stretched police force.

John Roach
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Phil,
Don't cry, you were the one that mentioned Conservatives. Since you are the local Chairman of the Libertarian Party, that seemed like a sly shot during an election year.

And what "rant". I have only said we should decide if we want to keep a City Department. If you think that is a rant, then that's sad.

Mark Brudz
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"A strong community finds ways to deal with these problems that doesn't involve the expansion of government."

THANK YOU! Community involvement is the place to start, and that was what I was saying all along,

The cost that I keep mentioning isn't in $$$,

Tim Miller
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I find Phil's comment kind of ironic... Berating John's words as "silly emotional rants like you spew", yet devoid of any constructive suggestions on what to do with the situation - essentially itself being a silly emotional rant spewed forth.

;-)

John Roach
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Tim,
Sort of my point. I think this is a good time to ask if we want a City Police force. I do, but I know some who do not want to keep it. What is the harm in asking?

Jim Rosenbeck
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There are no simple solutions and certainly there are costs involved when we try new approaches to fixing old problems. It may be necessary to re allocate police resources in the short term in order to address a pressing need. We don't need to hire more police. I am confident that our police chief is capable of assessing priorities and assigning staff where they are most needed. The good people who live in the State Street neighborhood deserve to be able to walk their streets without fear. If in the short term, we tax our courts and jails to accomplish that goal, it is time and money well spent. The alternative is to decide which neighborhoods we want to turn over to thugs. Let me ask, how long would this behavior be tolerated on Naramore Drive? It wouldn't...and it shouldn't be tolerated...anywhere in the city.
Howard, I don't want to create a police state either. But the city has a responsibility to prevent crime as well as to respond to it. I think police state when I am detained without cause at a road block checking my car's inspection sticker. Not so much when I see a police officer on foot patrol in a troubled neighborhood. That tells me the city cares about that neighborhood. Lets make street fights in the State Street neighborhood a thing of the past. People who are committed to living on the fringe of lawlessness, will ultimately move on to communities that are less vigilant than Batavia. Once neighborhoods are fundamentally safe then organizations like Vibrant Batavia can help build a positive culture. Right now we have a culture of fear and lawlessness at times in that location. It might not be as simple as it sounds, but I believe in initiating the action rather than responding to it.

John Roach
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If you are willing to pay for it, then police overtime is one answer. No hiring more people. The overtime officer would be assigned to that area for whatever time is needed.

Phil Ricci
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No crying here, John.

You are so inconsistent on this issue, it's really hard to figure where you stand. Over the years it's changed so much depending on who you're supporting in each election. Which is why I'm dick of your pandering.

Tim,

There's nothing constructive meant in what I said. An observation after years of listening to John flip flop.

John,

You stated what my point has been for years. The people should decide.

John Roach
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Phil,
Where am I inconsistent? Other than you, I am not aware of any other candidate who ran on getting rid of the City police, or who made the police an issue. Maybe I missed it, so you can correct me if there was another one.

I have said for years we could save money by eliminating the City Police. I never said otherwise.

I said I am willing to pay more to keep them.

There very well may come a day when keeping them is no longer an option, but until then, I like what we have.

But before we spend a lot of money on a police headquarters, keeping a City force or not is a question we should answer.

Mark Potwora
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Howard that is my point about Vibrant Batavia...Perfect thing for them to help with..The people who live in that neighborhood should have more say in to how they feel about this,,I would think that their councilmen should set it up..They are elected for a reason to try to solve issues such as this..The same goes for all at large councilmen..

matt riggi
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I think state street residents should be given free internet. Then they wont have to brawl in the streets. No more little league field. 4:30, thebatavian!!

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