Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Batavia PD

May 9, 2022 - 4:23pm
posted by Press Release in crisis intervention, Batavia PD, batavia, news.

borchert_and_tucker_cit_0.jpg

Press release:

Recently Officers Borchert and Tucker of the City of Batavia Police Department graduated from the intensive Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training held at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Facility. 

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training is the course of instruction associated with the CIT approach to responding to people with mental illness. The CIT training course requires an extensive 40-hour curriculum taught over five consecutive days.

The course emphasizes understanding of mental illness and incorporates the development of communication skills, practical experience, and role-playing. Officers are introduced to mental health professionals, consumers, and family members.

"City of Batavia Police Officers are dedicated to responding to those in crisis with compassion and understanding," stated Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, "Giving officers the tools and training they need to understand and communicate with those in crisis is key to positive outcomes and to the reduction of uses of force during these interactions."

April 25, 2022 - 11:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

img_1111ccap252022.jpg

Stephen Cronmiller, who joined the Batavia City Police Department in 2014, was sworn in as detective during Batavia City Council's conference meeting Monday at City Hall.  He is to begin his new duties immediately.

April 4, 2022 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

It was a busy year for the Batavia Police Department, with officers answering 20,341 calls for service in 2021, according to an annual report released by the deparment.

Those calls included:

  • 1,115 domestic calls
  • 658 mental health calls
  • 805 reported thefts
  • 868 disturbances

Officers also: 

  • Handled 185 fraud complaints
  • Conducted 338 escorts
  • Responded to 311 alarm calls
  • Responded 408 times to 911 hang-up calls
  • Handled 492 animal complaints
  • Served 386 subpoenas
  • Conducted 187 sex offender registrations
  • Conducted 594 welfare checks 

There was one murder investigation, 13 rape investigations, 11 robbery investigations, 49 aggravated assaults, 61 burglaries, 12 kidnappings, 41 DWI.

Officers made 501 arrests, of those, three were juveniles.

There were eight arrests for rape, 14 for aggravated assault, 21 for burglary, 52 for theft, 22 for drugs, 40 for DWI

Investigations included 651 motor vehicle accidents. Of those, 107 were injury accidents.

Patrols conducted 2,526 traffic stops and issued 1,490 traffic tickets. 

They also handled 1,712 parking incidents and issued 612 parking tickets.

Domestic violence calls were down from 2020, 248 to 233.

The report also states that in response to community feedback during the 2020 meeting of the Batavia Police Advisory Collaboration Stakeholder Group, there is additional training available for officers, including mental health training and implicit bias training, as well as de-escalation, defensive tactics, and community engagement.

There is also an officer wellness training program available.

The stakeholder group discussion also prompted the department to work on recruiting more minority candidates.

Goals for the department include working with architects at Ashley-McGraw on a new police facility and obtaining police accreditation for the department.

To read the full report (pdf) click here

March 14, 2022 - 9:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, city council, Batavia PD.

The Batavia City Council tonight unanimously passed the 2022-23 budget, ending a five-month process that resulted in the funding of a $17.78 million general budget with a slight decrease in the property tax rate.

“It was a long process that starts in November when departments submit their budget. And we sit and we meet, and we hash out priorities in each department’s budget, especially when we're looking at general fund police and fire and DPW snow removal,” said City Manager Rachael Tabelski said following the Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room.

Tabelski said she was “excited” by achieving a balanced budget “where the revenues conservatively are estimated to come in and match the expenses we have going out to, again, run the operations that people come to count on -- police, fire and roads.”

Council’s passage of the budget – the All-Funds budget totals $29.7 million – means that city property owners will pay a tax rate of $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value – down by 78 cents from the 2021-22 figure.

That doesn’t mean that everyone’s tax bill will decrease since most homeowners’ assessments went up – a fact not lost on Tabelski.

“The tax rate will go down It will depend on -- your payment -- … if your assessment went up,” she said. “I know many, many residents -- almost 4,200 -- assessments went up because of market conditions during COVID and the hot housing market. My hope is that that has cooled slightly, and we're not going to see large sweeping increases in assessments moving forward because it is difficult.”

Tabelski said that people react differently when assessments are raised.

“Some people like the assessment to go up because it increases the equity and value in their home, and others understand that it can mean at times a tax increase as well,” she said. “So, I'm very sympathetic to kind of understanding where residents of the city are and trying to keep our budget as efficient as possible.”

When asked if she could identify one highlight of the budget, she came up with the fact that more money was put into the police department’s Emergency Response Team.

“They are called a countywide response team, but it's run by City of Batavia Police and they're called on the scenes where they might need something like hostage negotiation or barricaded individuals,” she said. “And I was happy that we're able to bring more funding to that program this year.”

Council also approved a 1.5 percent increase in water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

February 8, 2022 - 4:17pm
posted by Press Release in K-9, K-9 Batu, Batavia PD, batavia, St. Joe's, news.

img_0696k9don2022.jpg

Press release:

On Feb 3, the Batavia Police Department K-9 Batu and handler Officer Stephen Quider received a donation from St. Joe's 6th-grade class in the amount of $181.

The funds were raised by the class to assist the City's K-9 Program with items such as food and veterinary bills for K-9 Batu.

K-9 Batu and Officer Quider are trained to assist the patrol officers with the tracking of individuals, locating items such as stolen property or items hidden by suspects, as well as handler defense when needed.

"K-9 Batu has quickly become an asset to the community and the support is greatly appreciated." stated Chief Shawn Heubusch, "Our program would not be possible without the support of the amazing members of our community that has stepped up to help out. I want to personally thank all the staff and students at St. Joe's for their kind donation."

If you are interested in donating to the City of Batavia Police K-9 fund please contact the Department at 585-345-6356 or email [email protected] to learn how.

img_0695k9don2022.jpg

February 5, 2022 - 7:54pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia PD, City Schools, D.A.R.E., education, news, batavia.

Press release:

A graduation ceremony was held on Feb 4 at the NYS Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls to recognize officers from across New York State who completed the intense two-week training school to become certified D.A.R.E. instructors. 

Officer Miah Stevens, the Department's officer assigned to the Batavia City School District as a School Resource Officer, completed the training and was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the D.A.R.E. program.

Officer Stevens is now certified to teach the D.A.R.E. curriculum to grades K-12. 

D.A.R.E. is more than just a "drug-resistance" curriculum. The D.A.R.E. Mission and Vision statements embody what the revamped program consists of; The D.A.R.E. Mission “Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.”

The D.A.R.E. Vision, “A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance use, and other dangerous behaviors.”

"We look forward to partnering with the Batavia city school district to deliver this important curriculum to students in the district and continue to build relationships throughout the community." stated chief Shawn Heubusch. "Congratulations to officer stevens on completing such an important and intense training curriculum."

February 3, 2022 - 1:34pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

Press release:

On January 1st, 2022 Officer William Yung was assigned to the midnight shift as Batavia Police Department's newest police officer.

Officer Yung was hired in May of 2021 and attended the Alfred State Police Academy hosted at Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y. He completed the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Basic Course for Police which consists of a minimum standard of over 700 hours of training as established by the Municipal Police Training Council (MPCT). The Basic Course for Police Officers covers a wide range of topics including but not limited to, Ethics & Professionalism, Cultural Diversity, Bias-Related Incidents, Professional Communication, Persons with Disabilities, Crisis Intervention, Use of Physical Force & Deadly Force, Active Shooter Response and Decision Making. Officer Yung also had to complete numerous Reality-Based Training Scenarios.

Yung then went on to complete the Department's Field Training Program, which consists of an additional 400+ hours of training to teach recruits appropriate Department policies and procedures. Officer Yung also familiarized himself with the community, businesses, and streets during the field training process. He was assigned to all shifts and multiple Field Training Officers during the field training program.

Prior to becoming a City of Batavia Police Officer Bill served as a Public Safety Officer for Medaille College. He is a graduate of Hilbert College with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and has volunteered numerous hours with a Boys and Girls Club.

Please join the Department in welcoming Officer Yung! 

January 24, 2022 - 4:59pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

screen_shot_2022-01-24_at_4.57.24_pm.png

Press Release:

On December 17, 2021, four members of the City of Batavia Police Department’s Emergency Response Team graduated from DCJS Basic SWAT School training in Livingston County. Basic SWAT School is a four-week intensive school focused on advanced weapons and tactics, forced entry (manual and mechanical), medical training, chemical deployment, distractionary device deployment, multi-terrain navigation, high-risk apprehensions, and specialized event security. The school was hosted by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and was put on over a four-month period.

“The skills and tactics learned are essential to the functions of our Emergency Response Team and will enhance operations even further for our Team.”, stated Chief Shawn Heubusch, “I would like to thank Sheriff Dougherty and the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office for hosting us. I want to congratulate the men and women of our department that successfully completed this intensive training and are now more capable to serve our community in times of crisis.”

Top photo: Asst. Chief Chris Camp, Officer Wesley Rissinger, Officer Felicia DeGroot, Officer Arick Perkins, Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk, Chief Shawn Heubusch, and ERT Commander Sgt. Eric Bolles

 

January 20, 2022 - 6:52pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia PD, Genesee Cancer Assistance.

Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department has closed out the Mo-Vember / Don’t Shave December campaigns for 2021.

The department was able to raise $1,730 for Genesee Cancer Assistance. Members of the department would like to thank the community for their support and donations.

The Mo-Vember Worldwide Campaign started in 2003 in Australia and has since grown. Mo-vember was started to bring awareness to Men’s Health; specifically, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

 

unnamed.jpg

Photo provided by the Batavia Police Department

September 15, 2021 - 11:10am

Press release from Batavia Police Department:

On 09/14/2021 at approximately 12:57 PM, the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a call regarding a male who became stuck in a stone bin at Western NY Concrete, located at 638 E Main St, Batavia, NY.

The City of Batavia Fire Department, City of Batavia Police Department, and Mercy EMS responded to assist.

The City Fire Department was able to extricate the victim but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was identified as Randy Ridd, 64, of Batavia.

The Genesee County Coroner’s Office sent the victim to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. The Batavia Police Department conducted an investigation into the incident, which appears to be accidental at this time.

September 14, 2021 - 2:25pm

untitled_shoot-5610.jpg

A man working at Western New York Concrete Corp. at 638 East Main St. died this afternoon after becoming stuck in a stone bin, Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch reported.

"About 12:57 (p.m.), the Batavia Fire Department along with the city police department were dispatched to Western New York Concrete for a report of a male stuck in a stone bin," Heubusch said. "Upon arrival, ... the employees that were working were trying to extricate the gentleman from the stone bin. City fire made an extrication; unfortunately, the individual has passed. We're not going to be releasing the name at this point and time, pending notification of family members."

Batavia Fire Chief Dan Herberger explained that at the concrete operation, "several tons of stone dust, which is a very fine dust that is used for concrete production. It's a big hopper that's very wide at the top and narrow at the bottom."

Herberger said the stone bin, which is located in a blue building toward the back of the lot, is "an internal thing that has a belt that takes the stone dust up into where they need it to create concrete, and he fell into the hopper and was buried."

He said the cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, who arrived on the scene shortly before 2 p.m.

The fire chief said when his crews arrived they initially assessed what type of equipment was in operation as to not endanger firefighters

"Just taking control of equipment and ... do some disassembling just to get him out," he said, adding that the victim was in the bin for about 30 minutes after the time of the call.

Herberger said this situation differed from grain bin incidents because the stone dust is much finer than grain and "is very heavy."

He said all city firefighters on duty responded to the scene while another platoon was called into to cover fire headquarters. Heubusch said several police officers were at the scene as well as detectives who will be taking statements and assisting the fire department in the investigation.

"Our thoughts go out to the families and the employees here at WNY Concrete," he said. "They did make an attempt at a rescue to save this gentlemen, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

untitled_shoot-6955.jpg

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Fire Chief Dan Herberger.

untitled_shoot-6922.jpg

untitled_shoot-5625.jpg

City Fire Lt. Dave Green

untitled_shoot-5607.jpg

Photos by Jim Burns

September 1, 2021 - 7:07pm

stop_dwi_logo.pngThe Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee this afternoon recommended approval of the county’s 2022 STOP-DWI plan that seeks an appropriation of $160,910, but not before the program coordinator highlighted the need for more police officers.

“It’s an amazing program,” Assistant Manager Tammi Ferringer said, thanking personnel from the three participating agencies – County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and Le Roy Police Department – for their efforts in conducting special details in support of STOP-DWI.

But just as quickly, speaking at the meeting at the Old County Courthouse, she noted “the biggest challenge” was that these departments are short-staffed.

“Each agency needs to be commended for changing their schedules (to work the details),” she said. “The officers really gave their all.”

The three police agencies continue to conduct routine enforcement nights with sobriety checkpoints, often resulting in DWI/DWAI arrests, she said, but noted that primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, total DWI arrests dropped from 115 in 2019 to 72 in 2020.

Thus far in 2021, however, arrests are trending upward, prompting Ferringer to believe the yearly total will equal or exceed the 2019 number.

She reported that law enforcement participated in all statewide crackdown events (eight of them in all) during the period of Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021, making 205 vehicle stops. Furthermore, grant funding was used for callouts of local Drug Recognition Experts to help assist officers investigating impaired driving.

One hundred percent of STOP-DWI’s activities is funded from the collection of fines collected from DWI/DWAI offenses, Ferringer said, noting that many arrests are made during normal operationof law enforcement. STOP-DWI provides enhanced activities.

While she is budgeting for $160,910, the program currently has about $100,000 in its account.

Ferringer reported a decline in revenue from $163,418 in 2020 to (projected) $119,063 this year, but foresees an increase in 2022 as the courts reopen and more and more pending cases are adjudicated.

“There’s a backlog in the courts,” she said, adding that judges are “scared” as they see the caseload before them and try to prepare for the impending rush.

She also informed the committee that New York State is changing its terminology – moving away from “crackdown period” and replacing that with “high visibility engagement campaign.” The Labor Day/End of Summer HVEC is running now, through Sept. 6.

As she wrapped up her presentation, County Legislator Gordon Dibble, who represents the towns of Pembroke and Darien, said the Village of Corfu Police Department may be looking to re-enter the STOP-DWI program.

Ferringer’s budget request is expected to be on the agenda of the full legislature’s next meeting on Sept. 8.

Other program highlights are as follows:

  • Genesee Justice monitors first-time DWI offenders (non-aggravated) who have received a Conditional Discharge as long as they participate in a one-year monitoring program that includes reporting regularly to a case worker, undergoing an alcohol screening and counseling program, refraining from drinking alcohol and taking part in an intense program for behavior modification aimed at changing attitudes on drinking and driving. It also monitors Leandra Law convictions where the ignition interlock device is ordered on the vehicle.

  • Genesee County probation officers provide necessary DWI enforcement activities and enhanced EtG (ethyl glucuronide) alcohol testing for monitored individuals. The department is monitoring an average of 175 DWI offenders per month and has reported 50 violations year to date, which is up slightly from 172 in 2020 with 80 violations amidst pandemic response and shut down.

  • Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse provide case management services, including an accountability component, follow up to the court and referrals to community resources. GCASA’s Victim Impact Panel brings DWI offenders and victims together for offenders to hear first-hand how a DWI crash impacted the lives of others.

  • STOP-DWI’s education and prevention component includes participation by the Youth Bureau, leading to the use of images of the local law enforcement agencies for a new billboard to remind the community to not drink and drive. The image will also be used in the future for post cards and other educational handouts. Also, it conducted an adult campaign during the winter holiday season, partnering with local liquor stores to provide them with liquor bags with safe messages to remind the community to not drink and drive. In 2020, six liquor stores were provided 5,800 bags.

  • The program’s poster contest winners were acknowledged, as youth and “top cops” were recognized with t-shirts, gift cards, commendations as well as banners with their artwork/pictures on them to display. Brooke Jarkiewicz and Grace Shepard, 11th graders at Byron-Bergen High School were the grand prize winners, and their design was featured on a billboard for a month during the winter holiday season.

  • In July, a “Night at the Ballpark” took place at Dwyer Stadium, supported by the Batavia Muckdogs. Law enforcement personnel joined with county staff and representatives of human services agencies to assist at the heavily attended event.

August 24, 2021 - 9:19am
posted by Press Release in Challenger Sports, Arc GLOW, batavia, Batavia PD, news.

img_7284challenger.jpg

Press release:

City of Batavia Police Department members raised an impressive $1,500.00 among their ranks to support the Challenger Sports program run by the Batavia Y and supported by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.  

It was Police Sergeant Lawrence’s idea to target their fundraising proceeds to Challenger Baseball.  “I have a law enforcement colleague in another state that’s involved in Challenger,” the Sergeant said.  “We have a lot of new hires on the force.  This is a great cause to encourage them get involved in the community,” he stated.

Challenger sports benefits children with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities and has offered them the opportunity to swim, bowl, dance, play baseball, soccer, basketball and tennis. 

Batavia Police department members that contributed to the Challenger fundraiser were: Officers Borchert, Cronmiller, Defelice, Flanagan, Freeman, Girvin, Gombos, Perkins, Rissinger, Chief Heubusch, Detective Hill, Sergeant Lawrence and Parking Enforcement Officer Sheflin. 

Y representatives shared the funds will be used for supplies such as adaptive equipment for future programs.

August 18, 2021 - 8:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

21-13370shopliftsusb.jpgBatavia PD is asking the public's assistance in identifying the man in the photo to the right in connection with a shoplifting investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Office Kevin Defelice at (585) 345-6350.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 9, 2021 - 4:31pm

Now is an opportune time for individuals who are serious about becoming a law enforcement officer in Genesee County.

Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch and Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron have announced that potential candidates for positions at those two agencies can take the civil service examination on either Sept. 18 or Sept. 19. The exact date will be announced.

All applicants must file for the examination with the Genesee County Human Resources Department by Aug. 4.

Heubusch said the Batavia PD currently has one opening, while Sheron said the sheriff’s office is down six deputies.

“We currently have one vacancy,” Heubusch said. “This announcement is for the exam that was supposed to take place last year, but was postponed due to COVID.”

CITY OF BATAVIA PD

Heubusch said the city, as part of the police reform plan submitted to New York State per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order, “is committed to working with our local government partners and various groups and organizations in reaching out to the community to promote and publicize these important career opportunities in law enforcement.”

“It’s important that the composition of the police department reflects the community it serves and protects -- and that starts with making people aware that the police exam is coming up.”

Those with questions regarding the hiring process and other information about how to become a police officer can contact the Batavia Police Department by email at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6360 and ask to speak with a member of the Recruiting Committee.

GENESEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S

Sheron said that along with the civil service test in September, his office is conducting background checks on three individuals and there is another recruit in basic academy who will graduate in August.

“Being down six hurts us, but we’ve been down this many before,” he said. “The guys all step up, using overtime and so forth.”

The sheriff said it will take quite some time to fully replenish the deputy staff when you consider having to receive the test results and also conduct interviews, background investigations and psychological tests.

“And then we have to put them through the academy, which is a six-month ordeal, so we’re probably looking at nine months to a year before we’re back to full staff,” he advised. “However, we do have a couple people who are considering lateral transfers from other police agencies over to ours.”

LINKS TO PERTINENT INFORMATION

Interested candidates can visit the Genesee County Human Resources Department’s website for more information on how to apply to take the examinations:  https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/humanresources/exams.php

The following links provide information on the physical fitness testing procedures and civil service study guide for entry level police officer exams:

https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/Physical%20Fitness%20Test%20Guidelines.pdf

https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/docs/hr/entry_level_police_officer_test_gui...

Both Heubusch and Sheron emphasized the need for potential candidates to start the training process immediately to be prepared to take the physical agility test after the written civil service exam.

June 23, 2021 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Le Roy, news, Batavia PD.

At about 1 a.m., a motorist was in need of some assistance at Main and Oak in Batavia and two Batavia police officers stopped to help change a tire -- Pete Flanagan and Jordan McGinnis.

Tom Wood, former chief for Le Roy, was driving past and couldn't stop for a picture but thought the officers deserved some recognition.

"With all the negativity around police officers, I thought I should share this," Wood said.

June 14, 2021 - 10:19pm

police_1.jpg

After years and years of studies, citizen task force recommendations and broken promises to City of Batavia police officers, the Batavia City Council may be ready to pull the trigger on construction of a new $10.8 million police headquarters on the parking lot at Alva Place and Bank Street.

Lawmakers, during a Special Conference Meeting tonight at City Hall Council Board Room, listened to a presentation of a City of Batavia Police Station Feasibility Study – hearing from Kenneth Pearl, president of Architecture Unlimited LLC, of Williamsville; City Manager Rachael Tabelski, and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch on what it would take to finally move its law enforcement personnel out of the 160-year-old Brisbane Mansion at 10 W. Main St.

“This has been going on so long that now we’re spending $10 million for a building that if we would have built this six, eight, 10 years ago when we were talking about it, it would have been a few million – three, maybe four (million),” said City Council President Eugene Jankowski, a retired city police officer who is well aware of the poor conditions at the current station.

“Every time they (apparently referring to past City Councils) wanted to come up with a price, they would decide to spend tens of thousands of dollars on another study, and they would turn right around and try to say let’s merge, let’s eliminate, let’s become one police department. There wasn’t public support for that; there wasn’t availability to make that happen. It wasn’t feasible and it wasn’t cost-effective to do that.”

Jankowski said that the city abandoning its police force – putting that responsibility on Genesee County – would be unwise.

“I’ve lived in the city and I expect to have a policeman and a fireman nearby when I need one, if my house is on fire or if I’m in trouble … we need our police department,” he added.

Pearl reported that If City Council is indeed serious about building a new home for its police department, it is going to cost $10 million or more, depending on when they build due to the unstable construction climate.

His analysis indicates that the $10.8 million cost of a 19,000-square-foot building, complete with enclosed parking for more than 30 cars, would break down as follows:

  • Batavia Police Department Building -- $6,270,000;
  • Site Work – Building Project, $570,000;
  • Site Work – Public Parking Modification, $660,000;
  • Site Environmental Contingency -- $500,000;
  • Contingency at 10 percent -- $800,000;
  • Professional Fees – A/E/Survey/Geotech -- $880,000;
  • Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment -- $650,000;
  • Professional Fees -- $390,000;
  • Project Expenses -- $80,000.

Should City Council decide to add a secure parking roof structure – a steel roof with no walls or heat -- that would add another $2.65 million to the price tag. Pearl’s report listed that feature as an alternative, along with the installment of an eight-inch water main to replace the current four-inch water main, and a Bank Street improvement public infrastructure program to include traffic calming and pedestrian safety enhancements.

As far as paying for the facility, Tabelski proposed a $10 million improvement serial bond with a 30-year term, noting that annual payments would range from $425,000 to $507,000 for principal and interest.

She said the city, by 2025, could absorb debt payments of $570,000, adding that in the next three years, debt from an energy lease, tandem axle municipal lease and the Enterprise Resource Planning software system will be off the books.

“While there will not be room for other borrowing in the general fund, by 2033, City Hall principal and interest payments will be reduced by $164,000 and by 2036, the entire debt will be paid on City Hall,” she said.

Tabelski said she will be looking for grants in an attempt to drop the amount needed to borrow under $10 million.

Heubusch advised Council of the conditions at the current police station, mentioning a 50-year-old boiler system, deteriorating walls, leaky roof, cramped quarters, lack of air conditioning and inconsistent heating.

In fact, the roof is in such disrepair that Council tonight passed a resolution to spend $100,000 from the municipality’s facility reserve fund to replace the flat portion of the 30-year old roof.

An analysis of that building showed that the flat roof portions above the rear vestibule and the rear addition require a full replacement. Currently, the roof is leaking into the conference room, locker rooms, detective offices and women’s and men’s bathrooms.

Pearl said he considered “four basic criteria” as he evaluated the possibility of a police station at Alva and Bank:

  1. “Could we save an adequate amount of public parking that could still be used by its neighboring businesses?”
  2. “Could we create enough secure parking within the wall or fence system for the police department itself?”
  3. “How much underground public infrastructure are we going to have to deal with (pipes, utilities under the parking lot)?”
  4. “And if we leave ourselves enough options after all that to go through a design and engineering process, would a viable project come out of it for the building itself?

Later on, he answered those questions affirmatively, stating that through substantial reconstruction about 115 public parking spots will remain in the lot with plenty of street parking available as well, and that there will be ample parking for police and other vehicles within the compound, next to the one-story facility.

He reported that basic elements of the project are a secure wall and gates, secure infrastructure (including an outdoor generator), storage space, open or covered parking and K-9 accommodation.

“Picture an L-shaped roof … what that allows us to do is create a public entry right here at Alva and Bank, which maximizes the public roadways,” he said. “Something that makes sense. You have the dedicated, primary entrance … you do not have that now.”

He said that police interaction with the community would be at the front of the building while operations and security would be placed toward the back.

Pearl’s report reveals the interior of the building will have a dedicated public entry space, front desk space, administrative offices, detective bureau, patrol offices and training rooms, emergency response team room, technical services areas (firearms, evidence storage, laboratory), accessory functions (locker rooms, break room, garage), interior infrastructure and community space.

Exterior spaces will include a public entry approach, flagpole, memorial area, landscaping, parking spots, generator, transformer, storage barn and K-9 lawn area.

Although he said the architectural and engineering process to get to this point has been complicated, the end result is that placing a building in the public parking lot “is a good option.”

“From a technical perspective, I’m very confident in saying that,” he said.

Pearl said construction could be complete by the end of 2023, but the current pricing would hold only if it went to bid within a year. He called the construction industry topsy-turvy right now, making it difficult to estimate costs.

To illustrate, he said the $8.8 million cost of just a 19,000-square-foot building (without fees and expenses) would have cost $5.7 million just three and a half years ago.

Going forward, Tabelski said the next steps would be putting out a request for proposal to architecture and engineering firms in September for design and surveying work, and then going back to City Council for contract approval/execution and a vote on final bond resolution around December.

City Council Member Al McGinnis was part of the City Police Task Force that worked on finding suitable locations for a new police headquarters about six years ago. He said that a lot of time and effort was spent by the committee and to see that nothing has changed is beyond disappointment.

"The fact that we have put our police through this for the past 20 years, 30 years is amazing," he said. "It violates just about every code you have for a police station. ... We talk, we talk, we talk and when we get done, we talk again. We kicked this can down the road. There's no more road and there's no more can. We have to do something."

lot_1.jpg

Architectural sketches -- Top, the proposed City of Batavia Police Department headquarters at Alva Place and Bank Street (building in red with parking lot in purple); Bottom, parking lot showing 34 spaces for vehicles plus room for cars next to the building. A storage shed (orange) and K-9 area (green) are at left.

June 14, 2021 - 6:56am

crowd_1.jpg

flag_present_1.jpg

It was a glorious ending to a glorious week.

“A Field of Thanks” celebration coordinated by members of the St. James Episcopal congregation concluded its eight-day tribute to military veterans, community workers and volunteers on Sunday afternoon with the presentation of flags to 81 recipients on the front lawn of the East Main Street church.

Calling the event “a gathering of people sharing stories of hope, sacrifice and love,” the Rev. Bonnie Morris, rector, shared the significance of flags in society.

“Flags are symbols. Flags serve as many things. They may be a rallying call. They may be a reminder of an ideal. The may be a call to action,” she said. “Today and this week and throughout this entire project, flags have pointed to people. They pointed to service. They pointed to dedication.”

Morris said the flags – which were put up on the church grounds last Sunday for all to see – provided “an awesome way to come together in honor of this service.”

“We are a nation of many people and each people with many gifts, serving many people. The flags that we have gathered around us this week in ‘A Field of Thanks’ are the nation’s flags, along with the Navy flag, the flag of Canada and the flag of the United Kingdom,” she said.

“They all represent courage and commitment. They represent community and country, and a people’s dedication to service.”

The program included participation by employees of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and City of Batavia Police Department, and solemn renditions of “Retreat” and “To The Colors” by Batavian Derek Reiss on the bugle. Captain Jim Ellison, Navy, Retired, of Le Roy, served as the master of ceremonies.

Undersheriff Brad Mazur read the list of the heroes’ names and sponsors while Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard members Sgt. Andrew Hale, Deputy Ken Quackenbush and Deputy Kyle Krezmien presented the flags and plaques to the honorees. Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson also had a part in the pageantry.

Categories of heroes included groups and organizations, first responders, health care professionals and members of the armed forces.

Husband and wife Kevin and Diane Skelton, of Oakfield, sponsored flags for their late fathers, James L. Skelton and Kenneth R. Howard Sr., respectively.

Both served in World War II, with the latter receiving the Purple Heart.

“I just thought it was a great way to honor everyone who served the community,” Kevin said. “We thought it was very fitting to be able to honor our fathers who served in World War II. You forget about how these people served their country and even though they didn’t talk about it much during their lives, we understand the sacrifice that they made to serve their country.”

Diane agreed, adding that it was great to see recognition beyond the military.

“I think it’s great to not only honor the veterans but also the people that did things during the COVID pandemic and people who serve the general public – corrections officers and police officers. I just think it’s a fantastic idea,” she said.

Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, was selected by the committee to accept a flag and plaque on behalf of news media professionals.

“It is an honor to represent local media at this ceremony,” Owens said. “Many people in our community made contributions to help us all during the pandemic but locally and throughout the nation, local journalists worked extra hours under extra pressure to bring their friends and neighbors truthful accurate information at a time when political forces tried to spread misinformation.

“I think all of us are proud of the work we did and are grateful for the community's recognition of our work.”

Diane Cox, of Batavia, a registered nurse at the Genesee County Jail, was honored for her work during the coronavirus pandemic when the jail was on lockdown – no visitation, no chaplain and no legal services.

“As a nurse, you just do what you do; you don’t look for rewards,” she said. “It’s a passion; it’s what you do. I was honored to be recognized.”

Cox said that comforting inmates during COVID-19 “was a whole new level of nursing care.”

“They were anxious about their own family members on the outside, being exposed to COVID or having COVID, as well as bringing it into the jail where we were,” she offered. “We were able to contain our people, our staff, and we starting giving COVID testing outside of the county because we wanted to know.”

Since then, the jail staff has received equipment of its own to be able to test on site, she said.

Event coordinator Phyllis Draycott said the idea came to her more than a year and a half ago.

“I felt that people needed a little closeness,” she said. “Well, I thought that maybe COVID would be over in June and looked at Flag Day since it is less busy than any other holiday – well, it’s really not a national holiday. So, that was why we did that.”

“ 'A Field of Thanks' began on D-Day (June 6) and ended on Flag Day eve," she said “and now everybody can take their flags home and fly them at home (on Monday).”

Draycott credited her team of Dawn and Pete Mark for their professional touch, and choir director Dillon Hirsch, for leading attendees in patriotic songs last Sunday.

She presented a checks to WNY Heroes Inc., of Williamsville, and Meals on Wheels of Genesee County, the two agencies that benefited from the proceeds of the event.

Dawn Mark, instrumental in creating the plaques, said she counted it “a privilege" to meet so many people and find out about all their history.

“And I’d do it again in a minute,” she said. “I would suggest to anybody who wanted to do an event like this to go ahead and recognize your community.”

The list of honorees and their sponsors follows:

GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Genesee County Community Volunteers – Lilo and Wayne Townsend;
The “Phoebe Project” – Barb and Dave King;
Crossroads House – Jeff Allen;
Volunteers for Animals – Anonymous;
Eagle Star Housing – Rich Geitner and Jen Wood;
Office for the Aging – Dawn Mark;
Batavia USPS Workers – Jackie Swinarski;
All Educators – Deacon Diana Leiker;
News Media Professionals – Dawn Mark;
Le Roy Moose Lodge Veterans – Le Roy Moose Lodge 1132.
FIRST RESPONDERS
All Veterans and First Responders – Bill Hayes, Turnbull Heating & Air;
Genesee County Firefighters – Anonymous;
Robert S. Barnes – Margaret Barnes;
Genesee County Law Enforcement – Optimum Realty;
Brian M. Frieday – Rose and Steve Rumery;
Kevin Forsyth – Pat Forsyth;
Matthew C. Fleming – Cal and Joanne Fleming;
All Corrections Officers – Optimum Realty;
Michael D. Kasprzyk – Terri Norton;
Jason R. Queal – Carol and Dick Queal.
PUBLIC IN MEMORIUM
Gary V. McWethy – Sharon McWethy;
David J. Saleh – Batavia Lions Club and Lion Liz Saleh;
Claire Sloat – Todd Sloat, Sloat Tire Shop.
PUBLIC HONORS
Donna Becker – Deb and Mike Barone;
Bonnie Morris – Anonymous;
Paul Piscatelli – Anonymous;
Leigh Skelton – Anonymous;
Kristen Temple – Kathy and Larry Belluscio.
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Danielle Schollard – Kathy and Larry Belluscio;
Cheryl Sczepanski – Shirley Kriger;
Spencer C. Swartz – Janice and David Swartz;
Tina Rosone – Carol and Dick Queal;
Diane S. Cox – Harold Odell;
Christopher Foote – William Coughlin;
Cathy Bunce – William Coughlin;
U of R Center for Vaccine Research – William Coughlin;
United Memorial Medical Center Staff – Barb and Bill Pearce.
MILITARY
Navy Veterans – Chip and Terry McGuire.
WORLD WAR I
Donald E. Delbridge – Pete Mark.
WORLD WAR II
Kenneth R. Howard Sr. – Diane and Kevin Skelton;
James L. Skelton – Diane and Kevin Skelton;
William J. Hall Sr. – William J. Hall Jr.;
Harry Simmons – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Anthony J. Gugino – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Carl T. Todd Sr. – Mariellen Blossom;
Cora E. Houck Todd – Mariellen Blossom;
Charles T. Fox – Marilyn and David Lange;
Herman Fustino – Wendy and Bruce Fustino;
Henry Schoelles – Wendy and Bruce Fustino;
Loren F. Balduf – Donna Stiles and Family;
Chester H. Watson – Elaine and Steve Watson;
Lyle G. Mark – Pete Mark;
Gerald M. Rock – Corinne Malmberg;
Benjamin S. Giambrone – Ben’s Appliance & Kitchens;
Norman K. Lange – Marilyn and David Lange;
William Renz Sr. – William Renz Jr.;
Eldon Blowers – Nathan Blowers;
Walter N. McAlister Sr. – Carolyn and Ken Draycott;
R.W. Janet Kingdon – Mariellen Blossom (Order of the Eastern Star);
W. Evelyn Edwards Krause – Mariellen Blossom;
M.W. Harry L. Tyson – Mariellen Blossom;
R.W. Donald Keys – Mariellen Blossom.
FOREIGN SERVICE
Sam Norris – Sue and Corky Best;
Kenneth Draycott – Jane Draycott;
The Hammond Family – Anonymous.
VIETNAM
John Mack – Jeff Wuest;
Louis M. Scoville – Maureen Scoville;
Dan Ford – Shirley Ford;
Charles Graney – Tim and Bonnie Morris;
Terry J. Garigen – Jeff Wuest;
John R. Ellison – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Gary Hammond – Anonymous;
Glenn Hammond – Gary Hammond;
Kenneth C. Gray – St. James Episcopal Church.
MIDDLE EAST
Dan S. Clor – Steve Foster and The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant;
Jason E. Hammond – Gary Hammond;
Daniel R. Criswell – Josephine Paananen;
Michael Machniak – Gary Davis;
Sean T. Callahan – Kent Ewell and O’Lacy’s Irish Pub.
ACTIVE DUTY
David R. Barnes – Margaret Barnes;
Christopher C. Meyers – Barbara Meyer.

skeltons_1.jpg

rector_1.jpg

howard_1.jpg

media_1.jpg

meals_1.jpg

Photos at top: A large crowd turned out Sunday for the closing ceremony of "A Field of Thanks" at St. James Episcopal Church (seated in red shirt is Phyllis Draycott, event coordinator); Genesee County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard officiating the presentation of the flags. Photos at bottom: Diane and Kevin Skelton, of Oakfield; The Rev. Bonnie Morris, rector; Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, with Sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Hale; Plaque that was presented to News Media Professionals; Draycott presenting check to John Wolf and Diana Fox, representing Meals on Wheels of Genesee County. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

June 10, 2021 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Special Olympics, Arc GLOW, batavia, Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, news.

sptorchrun2021.jpg

Officers with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and Batavia Police Department carried the Special Olympics torch today from the Sheriff's Office on Park Road to the Arc Genesee Orleans Center on Walnut Street in support of the Special Olympics.

sptorchrun2021-2.jpg

sptorchrun2021-3.jpg

sptorchrun2021-4.jpg

May 11, 2021 - 10:34am

The City of Batavia Police Department came through with flying colors last month while thwarting a suspected drug deal in the parking lot at the 400 Towers senior apartment complex at 400 E. Main St., but that’s what the executive director of the Batavia Housing Authority has come to expect from municipal law enforcement.

“I observed two different suspected deals, and the second one just after 5 p.m. seemed like it was just starting,” said Nathan Varland, who heads the agency that operates 400 Towers along with other locations in the city. “So, I called 9-1-1 and they sent a car over without lights and sirens to see what they could see and they jumped right into it. It was very responsive and helpful to us, and I very much appreciate the help and support of police and fire.”

The Batavian contacted Varland by telephone this morning, following up on a report by City Council Member Al McGinnis at Monday night’s City Council meeting about the way in which police officers handled the matter.

McGinnis, a commissioner on the BHA board of directors, said the housing authority “would like to thank Chief (Shawn) Heubusch and his people for responding quickly and professionally to the drug issues that occurred at 400 Towers.”

“The manager (Varland) was out for a run in the evening and came back to his place and noticed some individuals dealing drugs,” he said. “He immediately called the police chief and they responded with no lights and no sirens. They were able to contain them and stop the deal, and arrest the perpetrators.”

Varland said some of the residents have witnessed suspected drug deals “where people have met in our parking lot and did not live here – they were not residents.”

“It didn’t seem like there was a ton of activity going on but it seemed to be increasing. So, I contacted Chief Heubusch and a couple people on the police department, asking for some advice,” he offered. “They were super responsive, super supportive. I just can’t say enough good things about the help that they provided to us, and just how quickly they responded when we needed help.”

Varland said he is not aware of any suspicious activity at the location since then, and is grateful for city emergency services personnel’s continuing protection.

“We count on them,” he said. “Honestly, we wouldn’t be in business without Batavia police and fire. They’re just so supportive in helping to meet all of our needs here.”

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button

News Break