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Batavia PD

October 11, 2019 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office, news, batavia.

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Press release:

The Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has received an armored rescue vehicle from the U.S. Government’s 1033 program.

The program allows for departments across the nation to receive surplus military vehicles, for free, to use in special operations.

The vehicle received is called an MRAP, which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected. The vehicle was designed to withstand improvised explosive devices and ambush attacks. Due to its larger size, heavyweight, and big tires, it is also a perfect vehicle to use during flood situations and natural disasters.

The departments will take possession of the vehicle today and will begin retrofitting it with the necessary equipment to include paint, decals, lights/sirens, seating, and communications to make it suitable for law enforcement use.

The departments plan to use the vehicle for a multitude of duties to include, rescue operations during floods or natural disasters and high-risk law enforcement activities such as active threats/warrant executions, throughout the county.

This new addition will allow the departments to provide better protection to citizens in natural disaster situations and also protect officers who are involved in higher-risk law enforcement activities.

The Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office are proud to have this vehicle which better prepares the City of Batavia and Genesee County for any threat, both natural and man-made.

Previously:

August 7, 2019 - 9:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, video, National Night Out, Batavia PD.
Video Sponsor

For the first time, the annual National Night Out, an event of the Batavia Police Department, was held at City Church's St. Anthony's.

Below: A bonus short video of firefighters hoisting a stokes basket.

July 19, 2019 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Chief Shawn Heubusch welcomed three new police officers to the Batavia PD force today.

Adam Tucker, Alec Roberts, and Jordan McGinnis are ready to begin field training after being sworn in this morning at City Hall.

July 11, 2019 - 9:23am
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, Batavia PD, news, notify.

Batavia PD may yet once again have a working police dog and on Monday, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch updated the City Council on efforts to reinstitute the program.

The effort includes receiving donations and seeking funds from Homeland Security.

It's been 20 years since Batavia PD had a working K-9 officer.

If approved, a resolution presented to the Council on Monday would create a K-9 fund in order for the Batavia Police Department to accept donations and funds from the federal government for a canine purchase, training and associated costs. 

The K-9 program’s approximately $23,000 price tag was broken down by Heubusch. He explained to Council members that it will cost $10,000 to purchase the dog and $5,000 to train the canine and its police officer over the course of several weeks. 

“During the regular workday, we’ll give the officer the allotted time for their training,” Heubusch said. “On off-days, we’ll have to compensate the officer for that. We do have some sample MOAs with some different unions to cover that.”

Additional expenses include $5,500 to purchase a vehicle designed to carry the canine, $2,500 for food and veterinarian bills, and $500 for incidentals and supplies.

Heubusch said the K-9 program will be like a specialized tool with a warranty. Beyond regular duties, the officer who receives specialty K-9 training would be called to respond when a police dog is needed for investigations.

“The officer is not dedicated to K-9 duty 100-percent of the time,” Heubusch said. “They would be on the road just like any other officer would be assigned to a patrol zone. We don’t have the luxury of just being able to dedicate an officer to that duty.”

Council President Eugene Jankowski said that, on occasion, the canine may be called for investigations that are not in the City of Batavia. Although it most likely would not happen often, the canine and its owner would be prepared to respond at non-city locations.

BPD is working on an agreement with the Homeland Security Investigation Federal Asset Forfeiture Program to defray some of the canine and training costs. Federal funding is not currently available due to high demand for border patrol canines.

Based on the positive feedback Heubusch received from Council members, this proposed resolution may receive approval at the August business meeting, which would allow BPD to be prepared for the K-9 program when federal funding is ready.

Previously: Batavia seeks Federal funds to bring back a K-9 patrol to the city

June 17, 2019 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.
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      Peter Post        Miah Stevens

Press release:

The Police Department wishes to welcome Officer Miah Stevens and Officer Peter Post Jr. to the Department.

Both Officers recently completed their field training and have been assigned to the road patrol.

Officer Stevens is a 2013 graduate of Pembroke High School and then attended Genesee Community College and SUNY Brockport where she majored in Criminal Justice. She completed her Basic Police Academy at Niagara University having graduated this past February. Officer Stevens’ stepfather works for the City of Batavia in the Water Department, she has three brothers and sisters.

Officer Post attended GCC after earning his High School Diploma in 2015. He is a 2018 graduate of the Rural Police Training Academy at GCC. Officer Post then began his career with the villages of Perry and Warsaw Police Departments as a part-time police officer. His father is a retired Police Detective and his mother a retired New York State Trooper. Officer Post has three brothers and sisters.

“We wish to welcome Officer Stevens and Officer Post to the City of Batavia and the Police Department,” said Chief Shawn Heubusch. “They are both wonderful additions to the police force and extremely community oriented.”

May 24, 2019 - 7:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, news, batavia, notify.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Youth Detective Rich Schauf retired today after 32 years of dedicated service to the City of Batavia and City of Batavia Police Department.

Schauf started his law enforcement career in June of 1983 as a Jailor at the Genesee County Jail. He was hired by the City of Batavia Police Department on Jan. 25, 1987, and promoted to Youth Detective on Oct. 20, 2003.

Schauf spent the majority of a career dedicated to the youth of the City. He was an integral part in the creation of several organizations designed to provide support services to the youth of the community.

A luncheon was held at City Hall to honor Schauf ’s 32 years of service and to wish him well in his retirement.

April 23, 2019 - 1:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9, Batavia PD, batavia, news, notify.

It's been about two decades since Batavia PD had a dog patrolling the city with a qualified handler, but that could change if Federal asset forfeiture funds become available.

Chief Shawn Heubusch is asking the City Council to approve a memo of understanding with Homeland Security for the Federal agency to pay for the purchase and training of a K-9 and handler to work in the City of Batavia.

The new K-9 and its handler would be a member of the Batavia police force but on-call if Homeland Security needed K-9 officers for an operation.

Once the MOU is signed, it becomes a waiting game for funds to become available. Currently, by executive order, President Donald Trump is diverting asset forfeiture funds to the construction of a wall along a portion of the Southern U.S. border.

"This is just the very first step," Heubusch said. "This is not an imminent thing. We’re not going to have a K-9 next week. We’re not going to have a K-9 next month. This is something to get in line for the funding."

Under the terms of the agreement, once the funds become available, Homeland Security to cover the estimated $15,000 in purchase and training costs. The city would be responsible for any other costs associated with a K-9, such as outfitting a patrol car, leashes, food, and veterinary care.

Heubusch said he anticipates setting up a fund to receive donations from the community, much as the Sheriff's Office has done, to cover the additional K-9 costs.

While the Sheriff's Office is soon to have two K-9s on duty, and the Department of Environmental Conservation and State Police have K-9s in the area that sometimes assists local law enforcement, a K-9 in the City of Batavia would greatly enhance the Batavia PDs capabilities, Heubusch said.

"We have a great relationship with all of those agencies and they’ve all helped us out in the past, but you’re talking about response time to get to a situation," Heubusch said. "So if there’s a child missing or if there’s an elderly person missing, that’s time that is ticking away."

The last K-9 officer in the city was Ed Mileham, now retired, now a fire chief in Indian Falls. 

According to Heubusch, Mileham was taken off of K-9 duty when police unions across the state challenged the lack of overtime pay for K-9 handlers because the officers are often called upon to care for their animals while not officially on duty. 

Police departments across the state, Heubusch said, took their K-9s out of service at that point rather than pay overtime. 

If Batavia gets a new K-9, Heubusch told the council that Batavia will follow the example of the Sheriff's Office in providing handlers with time to care for their animals as part of their normal duty shifts.

Mileham said he supports Batavia trying to bring back K-9 patrols and noted, as have other police officers over the years, that "bad guys don't like K-9s."

Heubusch agreed.

"If you go to a scene and there’s a K-9 on scene, there’s a different demeanor from somebody you’re dealing with," Heubusch said.

Batavia's K-9 will be a patrol dog -- not specifically a drug dog or a bomb dog but a general patrol dog.

"It’s all about being able to provide the best service to the community that we possibly can," Heubusch said. "K-9s can be used in patrol interdiction, to get drugs off the street; they can be used in finding people, if you’ve got a lost loved one or somebody that wandered away, you can do tracking with them.

"If you look at (alarms), we respond to numerous burglary alarms in buildings. It takes two or three officers quite a while to clear a building. A K-9 can do it in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the risk."

April 23, 2019 - 12:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Retired Police Officer Frank Klimjack, who put in 21 and a half years of service, was honored by the Batavia City Council on Monday night with a proclamation from the City.

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April 12, 2019 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, news, batavia.

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Officer Frank Klimjack called out of service for the last time this afternoon, ending more than 20 years with Batavia PD and 28 and a half years total working in law enforcement in the state.

The Buffalo native served in the military before taking a job with the state parks police in New York City. From there he transferred to Long Island, then Western New York, and then decided Batavia was a good place in the middle of Western New York to settle in and call home.

"I've had a good long career and I'm leaving on a high note," Klimjack said. "I could have done a few more years but just the way things worked out, it’s a good time to go."

He's loved living and working in Batavia, he said.

"It’s a great place to work," Klimjack said. "It’s a great community. It’s got its up and downs just like any community but it’s a good solid community. A great place to raise kids."

Klimjack and his wife have bought a home in Tennessee and will relocate there soon and he told us with a smile, "I’ll be down in Tennessee spending my New York State pension and paying a lot less in taxes.”

February 22, 2019 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD, news, weather.

Press release:

The National Weather Service – Buffalo has issued a high wind warning in effect from 7 a.m., Sunday, to 10 a.m., Monday, for Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Jefferson, Erie, Genesee and Chautauqua counties. Winds will be out of the west between 35-45 mph and perceived gusts up to 75 mph.

Strong winds will bring down trees, power lines and may result in power outages in the area for many days. Shallow-rooted pine trees, in particular, may be vulnerable. Property damage is also possible, especially to roofs and siding. Traveling in high profile vehicles will be very difficult at times, and empty tractor-trailers may be in danger of being blown off the road.

Winds over 58 mph will make driving difficult and could result in property damage, including downed trees and power lines. Scattered power outages are expected. Homeowners should secure loose objects.

The City of Batavia, including the Batavia Police Department, City of Batavia Fire Department and the Department of Public Works would like to remind everyone: In the event of an extended power outage, it may disrupt the community and the economy -- disrupt communications, water and transportation.

  • If phone lines are down, use social media to texting to let others know you are OK.
  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination. If you have a water supply (such as a well-water pump system) that could be affected by a power outage, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. The water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only. You can pour a bucket of this water directly into the toilet bowl to flush it.
  • Prevent the use of medical devices.

During a power outage please remember to:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. (A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours if kept closed. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.)
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows. (Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.)
  • Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  • Be sure to have a flashlight with spare batteries on hand. Do not use candles or any other source with an open flame for lighting.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans to refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices. Check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage.
  • Let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.
  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
  • Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
  • Stay away from downed utility wires. Always assume downed power lines are live.
  • If a traffic light is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
  • Fully charge your cellphone, laptop and other electronic devices.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Pumps at gas stations may not work during a power outage.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies including:
    • Downed power lines
    • If you are dependent on equipment that requires electricity and you need medical assistance.
  • DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 to report an outage or to ask about power restoration.
  • Continue to pay attention to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.

The Batavia Police Department can be reached at 585-345-6350; the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

February 11, 2019 - 4:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Batavia PD, warrants.

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

The following people are wanted on warrants issued out of Batavia City Court. If you have any information on the whereaboute of these subjects, please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350.

Do not make any attempt to apprehend these individuals on your own.

If you have an active warrant and want to avoid ending up on a WANTED list like this, the Batavia Police Department would be more than happy to assist you on resolving the warrant.

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Ahdeosun "Nunu" Aiken, 20

Charges(s): Second-degree criminal contempt.

Notes: Wanted for allegedly violating an order of protection. Additional pending charge of third-degree bail jumping.

Nicole Casey, 25

Charge(s): Petit larceny

Notes: Wanted for allegedly shoplifting.

Heyward Clark Jr., 54

Charge(s): Multiple counts of third-degree burglary.

Notes: Wanted for allegedly forcefully breaking into several properties and stealing property.

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Aisha Culver, 20

Charge(s): Aggravated unlicensed operator
of a motor vehicle
in the third degree; operating with suspended registration; operating without inspection "and additional."

Carey Culverhouse, 59

Charge(s): First-degree assault

Notes: Wanted for allegedly stabbing another person.

Allen Jerome Davis, 37

Charge(s): Sex offender registry

Notes: Wanted for allegedly moving out of his registered address without notice and without providing a new address.

February 6, 2019 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news, Meals on Wheels.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department assisted the Genesee County Office for the Aging with delivering meals to seniors who participate in the Meals on Wheels Program in the City of Batavia yesterday.

Officer Jason Davis, along with his wife, Office for the Aging employee Wendy Davis, delivered several meals to City residents.

The following info is from the Genesee County Office for the Aging website;

“Home Delivered Meals are available to any Genesee County resident 60 years of age or older who is incapacitated due to illness, surgery, physical handicap or advancing age, AND is unable to prepare their own meals, AND is without support of family, friends or neighbors for meal preparation. Services are available based on need without regard to income.

Meals are delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There is no delivery on holidays. Services may be discontinued at any time, or can be interrupted if needed for vacations or hospitalizations.

To see the monthly menu, go the County Office for the Aging website here and click on Menus on left side of the home page. To see the February menu, for example, click here.

Everyone that receives a meal has the opportunity to contribute. The suggested contribution is $3 per single meal and $4.50 for a double meal. No one is refused service for inability to contribute.

Referrals may be made to the Home Delivered Meals Intake worker by calling (585) 343-1611.

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December 21, 2018 - 4:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Batavia PD.

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This morning, members of the Batavia Police Department presented a check for $1,930 to Genesee Cancer Assistance, funds raised as a result of their ability and willingness to grow facial hair during "Movember."

Officers paid $50 for a goatee, $25 for a mustache and $100 for a full beard.

Chief Shawn Heubusch gave members of the department permission to continue the facial hair fundraising in December, with money raised going to a local family with medical needs. Donations to that cause are being accepted at the police station until Jan. 11.

Officers will need to become clean shaven again Jan. 1, unless their efforts to lobby Heubusch for an extension is successful.

Photo: Sgt. Matt Lutey, Det. Sgt. Kevin Czora, Sue Underwood and Teresa Potzebowski, both with Genesee Cancer Assistance, Officer Frank Klimjack, and parking enforcement and animal control officer James Sheflin.

September 7, 2018 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, news.

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Officer Arick Perkins with Lilly after Lilly escaped from the stables at the Genesee County Fairgrounds last night.

Perkins happened to spot Lilly on Cedar Street, and after a brief foot pursuit, with the assistance of Officer Felicia DeGroot, Perkins was able to corral Lilly. Lilly was returned to her owner, Meg Hayes.

Photo below of Perkins and DeGroot with Lilly, courtesy Meg Hayes.

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August 18, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lambert Park, batavia, Batavia PD, news.

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There was a community event with Mercy EMS at Lambert Park yesterday and Dayne Burroughs spotted Officer Christopher Lindsay in the midst of an intense game of Jenga with two of the children who attended and sent us these pictures.

"It's so nice to see the community and police interacting positively, with smiles and laughter," Burroughs said. "Batavia still is a 'small town' in some ways."

August 15, 2018 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, ptsd clinic, news, VA Medical Center.

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Officer Pete Flanagan, Batavia PD, pictured at right, presents $600 in Tops gift cards to Caryn Dilandro, director of the PTSD Clinic at the VA Hospital in Batavia, and Michael Swartz, director of the VA for Western New York.

Dilandro said the gift cards will be used by residents of the PTSD clinic to make one of their regular family meals -- where they all cook together and dine together, sometimes as a picnic or a BBQ.

Flanagan said the donation is the result of his desire to grow a beard. A year ago, he asked Chief Shawn Heubusch if he ran the GLOW Cup in full uniform if he could grow a beard for a year. Heubusch said he would think about it. This year, Flanagan asked again. This time, Heubusch told him he needed to turn it into a fundraiser and told him to pick the charity.

Flanagan picked the PTSD Clinic because last year he and some other officers weren't able to compete in The Murph through Batavia Cross Training, which was a fundraiser for the clinic, because of injuries.

Each of the participating officers ran in uniform in the GLOW cup and contributed $100 each to the cause. Besides Flanagan, they are Asst. Chief Todd Crossett, Officer Chad Richards, Det. Matt Wojtaszczyk, Det. Eric Hill, and Officer Marc Lawrence.

July 31, 2018 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia PD, news, batavia, GLOW Corporate Cup, road closures.

Press release from the City of Batavia Police Department:

Thursday, Aug. 2, the sixth annual GLOW Corporate Challenge will be starting out at 6 p.m. on Richmond Avenue in front of the NYS School for the Blind.

Starting at approximately 5:30 p.m., until approximately 6:15 p.m.,, Richmond Avenue will be closed from Prospect Avenue to Bank Street for the start of the GLOW Corporate Cup.

The race is expected to have a large group of runners and walkers in the area. The run will take place in the North-East sector of the City.

Vehicles traveling in the area should expect extended delays while runners and walkers are in the area. Please plan accordingly or make alternative travel routes to avoid the area.

Anyone with information in reference to any suspicious activity are encouraged to contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online here.

June 26, 2018 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news, notify.

The police department's pitch for a military-surplus armored personnel carrier got a favorable hearing from the Batavia City Council on Monday evening during a conference meeting.

The council will be asked to approve an application from the city for such a vehicle, an MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected), through the military's program for releasing decommissioned equipment to civilian law enforcement.

Chief Police Shawn Heubusch opened the meeting by providing background on the Emergency Response Team and explaining how such a vehicle might be used in the county.

The ERT was formed as a city-only unit in 1997. County deputies joined the unit in 2007.

The purpose of the ERT is to respond to situations that are beyond the capability of routine patrols, such as high-risk warrants and arrests, barricaded subjects and hostage situations.

Currently, the transport vehicle for ERT is a 2010 Ford Cube Fan. It is not four-wheel drive, is not a rescue vehicle, and offers no ballistic protection.

On Dec. 1, 2016 when Kyle Johnson killed a neighbor on Selden Road, set his own house on fire, and then fired on responding emergency personnel, one factor in bringing the situation to a peaceful conclusion was a Monore County officer happened to hear the police traffic on his emergency radio that morning and took matters into his own hands to muster his county's SWAT team and their two armored vehicles to assist.

It was one of those vehicles that were able to get close enough to Johnson, as he paced near his smoldering home with a long rifle in his hands, Heubusch said, that enabled the negotiations that led to his eventual surrender.

Sgt. Chris Camp is the current ERT commander, responsible for all of the administration and training of the unit, and he researched the options for an armored vehicle.

He spec'd out a Lenco Bearcat, which is a purpose-made armored rescue vehicle for law enforcement. The base price for a new one is $195,000. Camp added in options he thought were needed for our climate and terrain and that brought the price up to $255,000.

He then researched the option of the city acquiring a surplus MRAP. The military gives away these $650,000 vehicles to law enforcement agencies once they've been decommissioned. Livingstone, Saratoga and Warren counties in New York have all received one.

Most likely, a decommissioned vehicle will come available in California, which was the case for Livingston and Saratoga, making the transportation cost about $7,000 (Warran was lucky and retrieved its vehicle from Ft. Drum).

Outfitting the vehicle for law enforcement would cost from $7,000 to $12,000.

There may also be repairs necessary -- some of these vehicles have been sitting for awhile and need new batteries and tires. Livingston had to replace the fuel system on its MRAP.

Fortunately, the chassis and engines are International, just like the city's current dump trucks, so local vehicle maintenance can handle them, but there's also a former military MRAP mechanic working for Livingston County.

The vehicle would need to be stored, by government regulation, in a secure location. That would mean it couldn't be parked behind the police station, as the current transportation van is, so it would be stored at the city's vehicle maintence yard or at the Sheriff's Office, at least until, and if, Batavia PD gets a new headquarters.

County legislators Gary Maha and Marianne Clattenburg, along with Sheriff Bill Sheron, where in the audience for the presentation.

Heubusch indicated he expects the County to split the costs of the MRAP but the Legislature would need to approve the expense.

The city has in its asset forfeiture fund a little more than $10,000. That money can only be used for law enforcement purposes and Heubusch said he would anticipate using that money for the MRAP if one were awarded to the city.

June 13, 2018 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, news, notify, batavia.

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Adding a heavily armored vehicle to Batavia PD's fleet of vehicles isn't about taking on a more military appearance, said Chief Shawn Heubusch. It's about saving lives. Even just one life. And at a price the city can afford: free.

Heubusch is preparing a proposal for the City Council so the police department can request a decommissioned, heavily armored vehicle from the U.S. military known as an MRAP, which stands for Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected.

"Do we need a military vehicle?" Heubusch said. "No. We need a Lenco Bearcat. We can’t afford a Lenco Bearcat so what we’re asking for is permission to go and ask a decommissioned MRAP to keep our guys out of harm's way when they enter a hostile situation."

The armor can stop penetration by a .50-caliber round and withstand heavy explosives.

"It’s not the military vehicle necessarily that we need," Heubusch said. "What we need is the ballistic protection."

Law enforcement agencies across the country are lining up for these vehicles as the military takes them out of service and gives them for free to law enforcement agencies and even fire departments.

A Lenco Bearcat costs $250,000. The MRAP is free. It can also do something the Lenco Bearcat can't do: drive into high water to assist in rescues.

"Are we getting shot at every day? Absolutely not," Heubusch said. "But the cost of these vehicles compared to the cost of someone’s life is incomparable."

The vehicle would be used by the county's Emergency Response Team, which is headquartered at Batavia PD. Heubusch discussed the idea briefly with the City Council at Monday's meeting and in response to questions said maintenance of the vehicle would be comparable to a snow plow or dump truck and that while no special license is required for a police officer to drive it, there is a recommended instruction course for drivers of the  vehicle.

He'll bring forward a formal proposal for the city to submit an application for the vehicle at a future council meeting.

Heubusch acknowledged that some people might view obtaining such a vehicle as "militarization of civilian police" and he understands the optics of it but said that is a secondary concern.

"We certainly understand that aspect of it, but the brass tacks of it is, if it can save a life, it can save a life," Heubusch said. "I don’t care what it looks like, nor should anyone else if there’s an active shooter in your neighborhood and we need to get you out of your house so no one is injured in your home."

He added, "we’re not going to be patrolling in this vehicle. It’s not an offensive vehicle that is going to have gun turrets mounted on it or anything like that by any estimation. It’s vehicle that would be used, again, as a rescue vehicle, whether it’s to rescue a police officer or civilians from a hostile situation or a natural disaster."

June 12, 2018 - 1:12pm

For at least five years the City of Batavia has been trying to figure out what to do about its aging, deteriorating, ill-suited police headquarters and Monday night the topic was once again on the City Council agenda.

Consultant John Brice, of Geddis Architects, presented the council with three broad options, with price tags in excess of $7 million up to nearly $10 million, and each with their own challenges and pitfalls, not the least of which is the time it will take to complete whichever option is chosen.

Option 1: Remodel the existing headquarters with a public entrance in the back, using all existing floors, without too many significant changes to the floor plan.

Option 2: Remodel the existing headquarters with a public entrance in the front, all police operations confined to the basement and the first floor, the addition of an enclosed sally port and separate entrance in the back of the building for police officers and detained subjects.

Option 3: Build a new police headquarters on a parcel of land yet to be determined.

In 2014, the City formed a task force to study options for a new police headquarters. The task force considered options for remodeling the current location and reviewed a half dozen parcels in the city for a possible new building. The task force favored a location on Swan Street but the city was apparently unable to acquire the property.

The issue languished until now. 

The two remodeling options presented last night were revised from proposals presented in 2014 and the new building plan was a generic layout for a single-story building that would likely change based on the configuration of any parcel of land eventually selected for the building.

Both council members Kathy Briggs and Patti Pacino said it's time to stop stalling, so they favored Option 2 as the seemingly most expedient while also most completely addressing problems with the current headquarters.

"We need to stop kicking the can down the road," Pacino said.

"That's right," Briggs said.

She expressed concern that while it might be nice to build new, the city has already been down the path of trying to find an appropriate location and didn't really find a suitable spot.

Eugene Jankowski, council president, said he was open to Option 2 but favored option 3, building new.

"The first option doesn't do much," Jankowski said. "It might save us a little money but it doesn't solve any issues."

The current police headquarters was built 150 years ago as a mansion for one of Batavia's well-to-do families, the Brisbanes (James Brisbane was one of the founders of Batavia. His son, Albert Brisbane, was a nationally known utopian in the 19th century, and one of his sons, Arthur Brisbane (who married a Cary, another of Batavia's early wealthy families) went on to become one of the nation's most famous newspaper editors, working for William Randolph Hearst in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is buried in Batavia.)

The Brisbane mansion eventually became City Hall. When City Centre was built, Batavia PD became sole occupants of the building.

Brice outlined the problems with the Brisbane Mansion: The building's heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical are out of date and in need of replacement; its public entrance is up a flight of stairs and doesn't offer good visibility for staff inside; the entrance is less than ideally secure because there is no separate entrance for officers and any detainees they bring in; the building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"As soon as you touch any of the major systems you must make the building ADA compliant," Brice said. "That's New York State law."

Option 1 doesn't address all those issues. While it would upgrade HVAC, electrical and plumbing, and provide a more visible public entrance but the entrance would still be shared by the general public, police, and criminal suspects. It doesn't provide separate parking for police vehicles and public vehicles. It addresses ADA issues but the elevator would need to do more than just stop on three different floors; it would need to be able to stop on the levels in between floors (the second floor is really five different levels).

The total estimated cost for Option 1 is $6.9 million.

Option 2 puts the public entrance at the front of the building and adds a sally port at the back for safe prisoner transport and storage of the department's emergency response vehicle. It puts all police operations in the basement and on the first floor and leaves the second floor vacant (though the new elevator would still go to the second floor). It addresses many of the safety issues and upgrade issues with the building, but it's still a 150-year-old building originally built as a residence.

The estimated cost is more than $9 million.

Option 3 addresses all of the logistical and safety issues that can't be fixed with a remodel of the existing building but the biggest issue is: where to put it?

The estimated cost is close to $10 million.

"The facility we’re in now is 150 years old," said Chief Shawn Heubusch. "It’s still going to be 150 years old no matter what we do to it. It was not purpose-built as a police station or as a government facility. It’s purpose-built as a residence. It’s been modified over the years but a new build covers all of the requirements we have."

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