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September 19, 2020 - 10:28am

Owners of property in the City of Batavia identified as archery-only hunting zones in an approved deer management plan say they are either noncommittal or not willing to participate in any culling operation.

The Batavian contacted four residents and previously obtained comments from a fifth, Noah Majewski of Alexander Road, who spoke at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

At the meeting, Council members voted in favor of the City Deer Management Plan, a 25-page document that puts the Batavia Police Department in charge of selecting and registering hunters, forging cooperation agreements with landowners and other related responsibilities.

The plan is set up to mirror, to some degree, a deer management program run by the police department in the Town of Irondequoit, and came to fruition after eight months of work by a now defunct Council-appointed City Deer Management Plan Committee.

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch reported that he will be reaching out to citizens who own land near and around three of the five designated areas where deer congregate to see if they wish to permit hunting on their property.

Those areas are:

-- Unit 1: A parcel north of Clinton Street, owned by the Reinhart family.

-- Unit 2: About three acres at the end of Northern Boulevard stretching north of Evergreen Drive, owned by Assemblyman Stephen Hawley;

-- Unit 3: Five acres west of State Street (across from Batavia High School), with the majority owned by Duane Preston and another acre for hunting owned by Russell Nephew. (Nephew had served as spokesperson for the deer management committee that resigned last month over miscommunication involving changes to the plan).

The other two zones are city property:

-- Unit 4: Route 98, south of Walnut Street area near the Waste Water Treatment Plan, and adjacent to land owned by Majewski;

-- Unit 5: Law Street (about one and a half acres), east of the city’s Yard Waste Station going toward Tonawanda Creek.

The plan stipulates that city employees only will be permitted to hunt in Unit 4 and Unit 5.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski responded to an email asking about liability insurance by forwarding the NYS General Obligations Law (GOL 9-103).

The law provides general liability protection to landowners who allow a number of types of recreational activity on their lands, including hunting, provided that the landowner is not receiving a fee for providing that access, and also provides that the owner does not owe a duty to users or assume liability for injuries, and does not attach gross negligence of the owner.

“As we move toward implementation of the plan, we will look into this further as we engage with potential landowners with the collective goal of reducing the deer population in our city,” she said.

Concern over liability in case of injury, for example, seems to be the main reason why a couple of the landowners are apprehensive about getting involved.

-- Hawley said he received information about the plan a couple months ago from Samuel DiSalvo, also a member of the deer management committee, but hasn’t had a chance to look them over.

“I’d have to take a look at the specifics of it … I have a dog and grandchildren, so there is some concern, but at the same time there are certainly a plethora of deer, and they’re bold,” he offered.

He acknowledged that there is a deer problem.

“It’s something we’ve talked about forever -- and if this is a plan that looks as though it could work and cull out some of them, then that’s a positive thing.”

-- Jerry Reinhart Jr. said he hopes that the program will be able to “make a dent” in the large deer population, but the property owned by his family is big enough for only a couple people – “and our family hunts on it.”

Thus, he said that parcel of land would not be available for the city’s deer management plan.

-- Preston, owner of Preston Apartments in Batavia, said he is waiting for official paperwork from city management and would forward that on to his attorney for review.

“I’ve seen all the people bailing out on this so I would have to get attorney approval at this point as far as liability involved with people being on your property – if somebody gets injured,” he said. “So, I am not sure as far as the legality aspect of having individuals on my property with arrows.”

He added that he isn’t ruling out participating in the program.

“I am affected by the deer issues on my property. I can well attest that the deer have a grand buffet on my bushes,” he said.

A resident of Carolwood Drive on the northeast side of the city, Preston said there were only four or five deer in that area when he moved there 23 years ago.

“But now, there are 25 deer just roaming through the back of Hawley’s land all the time. They go right up through North Street, over to Allenview Drive down Garden Drive, and it’s the same with State Street (where he owns an apartment building across from the high school) and at my Parkview Apartments on Pearl Street. Three of my properties in the city are affected so I know it’s an issue.”

-- Nephew went a step further, stating that he wants no part of the program, evidently still displeased over the way things turned out between the committee and city leaders.(See the links to previous stories below).

“I don’t want anybody on my property,” he said.

-- Majewski said liability issues will prevent him from getting involved.

He said he was concerned that someone might get hurt, and was upset by the fact that people trespass onto his property.

He added that he runs “nuisance beaver traps” with a nuisance beaver permit from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. He said the traps are set around a swamp and he would hate to see someone step in one of those traps.

“I just feel like this is opening up a whole new can of worms to bring more people into an area that’s populated with people, that has people running around there," he said. “It’s a big area of concern for me. I have a fiancée. She hunts with me. She hunts on the ground. I’m also worried about her being on the ground and people not shooting safely around her.”

DEC Weighs in on Police-Run Plan

An email was sent to the DEC about the city’s decision to have its police department coordinate the program.

Its response:

“The City would be the managing lead and administrator if they were to develop a police run hunt. If the City police managed a localized hunt it would provide more direct regulation related to deer that travel onto lands outside the jurisdiction of the hunt.

“Unless the City of Batavia seeks a special permit from DEC for additional harvests, opportunities or methods, via the Deer Management Assistance Program or Deer Damage Permit program, then their hunt program would simply fit within the framework of our general deer hunting regulations (seasons, tags, implements, etc.). Batavia may opt to set specific controls that are more restrictive than State regulations, but they could not be more liberal.”

Previously: City Council seeks public input as it forwards deer management plan to its August meeting

Previously: Council, manager attempt to smooth things over with their deer management plan committee

Previously: BREAKING: City's deer committee resigns in 33 second meeting this morning

Previously: Police department to manage Batavia's deer culling plan that places restrictions on city property

September 11, 2020 - 12:59pm

Upon the approval of City Council, the Batavia Police Department will take on the responsibility of managing the community’s Deer Management Plan.

A memo dated Sept. 8 from Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski to council members indicates that “operationally, the Batavia Police Department will manage the program, accept applications, qualify participants, and schedule hunting times, work with participants and landowners on behalf of the City. A special detail will be set up to appoint an officer to this position and we will incur some overtime costs associated with this plan.”

Tabelski writes that additional deer management options added to the plan could be considered by City Council, upon recommendation by the city manager, if the current plan is not successful in reducing the deer population.

Those options are as follows:

  • Batavia Police Department culling operation;
  • Utilizing a private firm to cull;
  • Utilizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service culling operation.

A resolution to approve the revised archery hunting plan, dated Sept. 14, is on the agenda of Monday night’s Business Meeting at City Centre Council Chambers. A Special Conference Meeting will open proceedings at 7 p.m.

Contacted today, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch did not offer any specifics, noting that the plan still has to be endorsed by City Council.

“We’re happy to help out in any way that we can and do our best to move things forward, but everything’s very preliminary right now. With everything else that is on the table, the Police Advisory Stakeholder Group, potential construction of a police facility – there’s just a lot going on.”

This updated plan differs from the one dated Aug. 3, which came out of eight months of meetings of the City’s Deer Management Plan Committee, a five-person group enlisted by City Council. The committee worked primarily with former City Manager Martin Moore and Council liaison John Canale with assistance from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials.

The Deer Management Plan Committee abruptly resigned, however, on Aug. 13, citing a breakdown in communication with city leaders and disagreement with modifications to the plan.

The current version of the plan replaces “City Clerk” with “Batavia Police Department” in the Participant Application and Selection Process section as follows: City of Batavia Deer Management Program Hunter Application -- Submission to Batavia Police Department.

It also removes a section that placed the Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen (consisting of 12 clubs) as the top priority for program participants and replaces that with words indicating that proof of residency within the City of Batavia or Genesee County, and/or membership in a hunting club associated with the Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen, and/or City Employee status are required.

The Sept. 14 draft also indicates that the police department would be responsible for all tasks and documentation necessary to qualify potential hunters, schedule hunting times, and assist participants and owners of property in the three of the five identified hunting zones. The other two zones are city property and would be open for hunting only to city employees.

Moreover, the section titled Program Review and Measures of Program Success has been changed from “The City of Batavia Deer Management Committee will meet as needed during the program to review activities and to gather data as to the program’s success” to the following:

The City of Batavia Police Department, City Manager, and qualified program participants will meet as needed during the program to review activities and to gather data as to the program’s success.

That variation is understandable as the Deer Management Committee is no longer intact.

Tabelski’s memo also addressed the Batavia City School District’s current “hybrid” schedule that has some students in school and others learning remotely (at home). The deer plan calls for hunting only between sunrise and 2 p.m., and only when school is in session.

“Due to the temporary pause on the full reopening of schools, and because the top priority of all culling activities is the safety of the community, I recommend that the Batavia Police Department continue to monitor the school situation as it progresses and make an operational decision, based on the changing dynamics of in-school vs. home learning, to determine if the plan can be executed safely this fall.”

In closing, she wrote that the “final plan provides a streamlined program experience, ensures programmatic compliance, program metric tracking, increased safety and oversite (sic), and in increased focus on communication.”

Batavia’s current proposal is similar to the Town of Irondequoit’s deer program, which is managed by its police department.

In a separate development:

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said a discussion of the vacant city manager position is scheduled for Executive Session following Monday night’s meeting.

Jankowski provided a brief update, mentioning The Novak Consulting Group, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm that was used in the search that resulted in the hiring of Moore in 2018.

“At the last meeting, City Council was informed that Novak wouldn’t be able to start the city manager search process until late September,” Jankowski said. “At that time, Council requested additional information from the Human Resources department and that information has been provided.

“Due to the sensitive nature of personnel matters, Council will meet in executive session during the upcoming regular Business meeting to decide a path forward in the hiring process.”

July 14, 2020 - 10:07am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, batavia police department.

streeter_honored_1.jpg

streeter_and_gang_1.jpg

The City of Batavia honored Police Officer Darryle Streeter on Monday night upon his retirement (which took effect on April 30) after nearly 30 years of service.

His proclamation stated that he received several commendations for excellence in DWI enforcement, response to critical incidents and for bravery and selflessness.

In top photo, from left, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, Assistant Chief Chris Camp, Streeter, wife, Maria, son, Benjamin, and daughter, Julia. In bottom photo, Streeter is joined by his colleagues for a group picture.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

October 23, 2019 - 11:42am

The Batavia Police Department will be participating in the DEA’s 2019 National Drug Take-Back initiative on Saturday, Oct. 26.

The event will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the Batavia Police Department, located at 10 W. Main St. 

Citizens can turn in their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal. Sharps will also be accepted during the above times.

Citizens can pull up in their vehicle and meet with officers who will be stationed in the parking lot to accept the drugs and sharps. 

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.

Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety, health and environmental hazards.

The Batavia Police Department would also like to remind citizens of the drug and sharps drop boxes that are available 24/7 in the rear vestibule at BPD HQ.

August 9, 2019 - 4:08pm

Photo and press release from the Batavia Police and Genesee County Probation departments:

The Batavia Police and Genesee County Probation departments have teamed up to warn citizens of the potential dangers associated with the possession of BB and Airsoft guns.

The concern comes from how close BB and Airsoft guns appear to actual firearms, especially if they have been modified to appear more realistic.

Airsoft guns are generally shipped with an orange tip to help distinguish them from actual firearms, but both police and probation have encountered guns which have been painted to appear real.

For those who missed this year's National Night Out on Tuesday, Genesee County Probation had both a real firearm and a BB gun on display with the posed question, “Which one is the real gun?” Citizens found that even with a close inspection, let alone a split-second decision, it was difficult to tell which one was real. 

Although Batavia has not had a lethal incident involving a citizen with a BB or Airsoft gun, other areas of the country have, which prompted the partnership and this warning.

If anyone with these items on them gets approached by an officer, they should keep their hands away from the firearm, keep their hands visible and follow the officer’s commands.

In a situation where firearms are involved, officers have a split-second decision to make, and if these BB guns and Airsoft guns are altered it can be difficult to distinguish them from a real firearm in that brief moment.

It doesn’t matter if the citizen knows they have a BB gun or a toy gun painted to look like a real firearm, because if the officer does not know and the citizen points it in the direction of an officer or another person, an officer could easily make the justified split-second decision to use deadly physical force.

July 20, 2018 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia police department, news.

Press release: Found bone

On Thursday, July 19, the Batavia Police Department received information that a citizen found what appeared to be a human bone along the Tonawanda Creek bank in the City of Batavia.

Officers responded and took possession of the bone. It is believed the bone has been on the creek bank for an extended period of time. The creek bank was searched and no other remains were located.

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online here.

Police Department
10 Main St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Phone: 585-345-6350 / Fax: 585-344-1878 / Records: 585-345-6303 / Detective Bureau: 585-345-6370 www.batavianewyork.com

February 7, 2018 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, batavia police department.

Press release:

As part of our continued community partnership, the Batavia Police Department offers the following services to landlords in an effort to help them choose the best possible tenants and evaluate police responses to their properties.

These services were developed in direct response to feedback the department received from landlords and directly address the concerns they had. Below are the listed services and information on both programs.

Property Owner FOIL (Freedom Of Information Law) Request – This service will tell landlords how many times the Batavia Police Department has responded to a property within the time frame requested. After the initial request, we will provide a monthly contact summary every month on the second Tuesday of the month. Landlords can have the information emailed to them at no cost. For a hard copy, a charge of $.25 per page will be assessed. Copies of actual reports will not be provided.

Tenant Background Check – This service will show landlords the times a potential tenant has been arrested. This information will only show arrests and not how many times the potential tenant has had police contact. The information provided will include arrests from the Batavia Police Department ONLY and will cover the previous five years. The potential tenant will have to submit the background check form, in person, as we must verify their identity. Cost for this service is $10 which will need to be collected from the potential tenant at the time the form is turned in. The background form cannot be turned in by the landlord.

Copies of the above request forms can be found under the “Police Department” section on the City of Batavia’s website located at http://www.batavianewyork.com/Files. Forms can also be provided via email, U.S. Mail or by stopping at Batavia Police Headquarters located at 10 W. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020. Results can be sent via email, U.S. Mail or in person.

January 26, 2018 - 10:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia police department, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department announced on Thursday that it has joined the SafeTrade initiative for safer completion of online transactions.

SafeTrade is a simple program for police and sheriff’s departments to encourage transactions at their facilities; for classified sites to strengthen their safety and security initiatives, and for users to insist on “SafeTrade” by conducting their transactions only at a local police or sheriff’s office.

The Batavia Police Department is excited to partner with SafeTrade to provide a safe location for the residents of Batavia when conducting online transactions. Our goal is to make Batavia a safe community, and to provide unique services to attain that goal. Partnering with SafeTrade is one of those programs. 

The SafeTrade logo can be used (without charge) on any ads posted; by classified websites, newspapers and publications to promote safety and security, and by police departments to indicate they are hosting SafeTrade online transactions.

In the past few months, a number of U.S. police departments have offered to host online transactions, most of them referring to Craigslist as the reason. Participating police departments can now post banners or use logos referring to their facilities as SafeTrade Stations.

Additional information is available at www.safetradestations.com.

November 18, 2017 - 5:06pm

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department again is participating in the national campaign for "Mo-vember."

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

Each officer that is participating in Mo-vember at the police department will be giving money which will then be donated to the cause. Last year the Batavia Police Department donated over $1,200.00 to Genesee Cancer Assistance.

This year we will be attempting to raise more money and awareness. If you would like to donate to this cause, please contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350. 

September 10, 2015 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia police department, civil service exam.

Press release:

Batavia Police Recruitment Initiative – Civil Service Exam Notice

The Batavia Police Department is looking for qualified candidates to fill open police officer positions. An open competitive examination is being offered by the Genesee County Human Resources Department on Nov. 14.

Benefits include: Salary -- $41,147 to $60,462 per year (2015), Paid Time Off, Health Insurance and NYS Retirement.

Applications and fees must be turned in to the Genesee County Human Resources Department located in County Building 1, 15 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020 before Oct. 7.

Qualifications:

  • Candidates must be legal residents of Genesee County or of a county contiguous to Genesee County for at least two (2) months immediately preceding the date of examination and continue their residency through the period leading to their initial appointment. Candidates may be required to indicate, at the time of consideration for appointment, that they will become a resident of the locality in accordance with conditions authorized by local law or ordinance.
  • Graduation from high school or possession of an appropriate equivalency diploma recognized by the NYS Department of Education and completion of a minimum of 60 college credit hours from an accredited college or university. Exceptions: 30 college credits may be waived, if the candidate has EITHER: received an Honorable Discharge from the United States military after two years of active military service, OR successfully completed a Certified Police Officer Training Course approved by, or equivalent to a course approved by, the New York State Municipal Police Training council. A certified Peace Officer Training course does not qualify. 60 college credits may be waived, if candidate has: received an Honorable Discharge from the United States military after 4 years of active military service, OR received an Honorable Discharge from the United States military after 2 years of active military service, AND; completed 4 years of Reserve Duty in the United States military.
  • At least 19 years of age on or before 11/14/15 but not over 35 years of age unless certain military provisions apply.
  • Ability to pass an appropriate medical and physical agility examination as set forth by the Municipal Police Training Council.
  • Valid NY State driver’s license.
  • U.S. Citizen

Conviction of felony will bar appointment, and conviction of a misdemeanor or other offense may bar appointment.

For further information, interested candidates should contact the Genesee County Human Resources Department at (585) 344-2550, ext. 2221, or go to http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/humanresources/departments/humanresources2/policeofficeroc67419.html

July 6, 2015 - 6:12pm

Crime totals for Genesee County have been slowly increasing over the past four years according to reports from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The total number of property crimes in the county have increased from 1,358 cases in 2013 to 1,397 cases in 2014. Many of the property crimes committed in the county are driven by drugs according to officials.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman has seen a large percentage of larceny and burglary cases related to drug use.

"The one that is becoming most problematic in recent times is heroin," Friedman said. "We are certainly seeing a resurgence in the use of it. To a large extent, heroin disappeared from our view for years but now it's back." 

Sgt. Greg Walker of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office said heroin is popular in the county because it is easy to obtain and inexpensive. Walker leads the drug task force and works with the community to get tips on illegal drug activity. The drug hotline receives tips from residents every day. The Batavia Police Department, Village of Le Roy Police Department and Genesee County District Attorney's office are involved with the drug task force as well.

Walker said tackling drug abuse involves the combination of law enforcement, the courts and drug rehabilitation centers. He said law enforcement needs to crack down on selling, the courts have to issue appropriate penalties, and people suffering with addiction have to want to seek treatment.

In addition to the drug problem, another factor contributing to property crimes specifically larceny is people failing to lock their vehicles.

"In our case what we're seeing are larcenies from unlocked vehicles," Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said. "That has been a big increase in the last year or so. Whether it's change or GPS devices or other personal property, it should not be left in an unlocked vehicle."

The total amount of violent crime in the county has remained steady for most local law enforcement agencies. 

The Batavia Police Department has seen a small increase in the number of reported violent crimes. The number of aggravated assault crimes increased from 37 cases in 2013 to 42 cases in 2014.

According to Heubusch, the increase in the number of aggravated assault crimes is due to additional effort to prosecute the perpetrators. The police department works closely with victim advocate agencies so the abuse can be reported.

The YWCA is one of the organizations that works with law enforcement to advocate for victims. The organization refers victims to police and assists with filing orders of protection. They also help victims by providing housing, personal care products and referrals for other services they may need. 

According to Jeanne Walton, executive director of the YWCA, the organization's domestic violence hotline has received 415 calls since Jan. 1. Walton said the number of calls has increased from previous years.

For crime in surrounding counties, the number of violent and property crimes in Orleans County and Wyoming County have steadily decreased over the past four years. 

To view annual crime reports by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, click here.

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