Back To School Safety

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Summer vacation has ended and school will be starting September 6th  for students. The City of Dunkirk Police Department is reminding everyone to pay close attention to children as they walk to and from school and to obey the laws regarding speed in school zones, walking in the roadway, riding bicycles and yielding the right of way to stopped school buses.

The speed limit in school zones is 15MPH for all School areas except 20MPH on Rt.# 60 at School # 3 and 25MPH on Rt.# 5 at School # 7 from 7:00AM until 3:30PM  any day that  school is in session. The Police Department will have patrol officers checking the school zone areas for violations of the speed limit. Our priority in enforcing this law is for the safety of the children. As always voluntary compliance is very helpful but there will be strict enforcement and traffic summonses will be issued for the safety of the children. The few seconds it takes to slow down will not disrupt anyones day.

We want everyone to be aware and pay close attention to children who are walking to and from school, especially at intersections and crosswalks. A reminder to all motorists to please pay attention to and follow all directions of the school crossing guards and police officers who are at the intersections directing the children safely across the streets. Failure to stop as directed can result in the arrest of the vehicle operator.

A very strict warning to motorists that they must stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing. All vehicles on the highway operating in any direction on single lane or multiple lane highways must stop before their vehicle reaches the school bus when the bus has it’s red flashing lights in operation. The operators of vehicles cannot proceed past any such bus until the lights stop flashing or they are signaled by the bus driver or a police officer to safely proceed. Violations of this law will be strictly dealt with and the punishment can range from heavy fines to jail time or a combination of both. We take violations of this law very seriously. Throughout the school year we will have patrols checking on school bus operations to ensure safety.

Parents are urged to talk with their children about the dangers of them talking with or getting into a vehicle with any strangers or entering a house of a stranger.  If approached by any stranger teach your children to run away, scream, yell and find a teacher, police officer, crossing guard or an adult they know and tell them what happened. If your child has a cell phone talk with them about being familiar with street names and calling 911 for help in an emergency.

Parents who drop their children off at the Middle School on Eagle Street are to drop off only on the West side (the same side as the School) as dropping off on the East side will put the children in danger crossing the road in front of traffic and trying to make a left turn into the loop causes traffic back up and safety issues as well. There is signage in place that prohibits the left turn into the bus loop. We will have patrols in the area to monitor this situation.

We are also issuing a reminder to everyone about walking in the roadway. This is very dangerous and if traffic is obstructed it is a violation of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and also the Penal Law depending upon the situation. Anyone riding a bicycle is reminded that they must follow all the rules of the road as if they were a vehicle. We will have enforcement in all areas to maintain vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Again we are urging parents to talk with their children about these safety issues. By spending a few extra minutes as drivers of vehicles or as parents talking with their children everyone can help make school a safe, enjoyable learning experience. The children of today hold the key to the future and we must take the extra precautions to protect them and keep them safe.

Main Wine & Spirits Burglary Investigation

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On August 12th, 2016, at about 11:40 PM, Dunkirk Police Officers were dispatched to an alarm at Main Wine & Spirits located at 159 E 4th St. in the City of Dunkirk, NY.  Upon arrival, officers found the front glass window smashed out and determined several bottles of alcohol were stolen.  After a two week investigation, it is alleged that two 15 year old juvenile males were responsible and will be petitioned to Family Court for 1 count of Burglary in the Third Degree (D/Felony), 1 count of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree (C/Felony) and 1 count of Petit Larceny (A/Misd).

Robbery Arrest

ETHAN FIGUEROA

ETHAN FIGUEROA

On Monday August 22nd 2016 at or about 12:57 PM, Officers responded to a retail store located in the D&F Plaza for a report of a shoplifter. As officers were arriving on scene, suspect Ethan Figueroa was seen fleeing from the area and attempting to climb a fence on Milliard Fillmore Dr. which leads to the New York State Thruway. Figueroa was apprehended and taken into custody. Further investigation into the matter led to the fact that Figueroa displayed a knife to store personnel as he was exiting the store and fleeing with stolen merchandise. At the time of his arrest, Figueroa was found to be in possession of stolen merchandise, a quantity of heroin and hypodermic instruments. He was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court By Judge Walter Drag and is being held in the County jail without bail pending a preliminary hearing.  He is charged with: Robbery in the First degree(Class B Felony), Grand Larceny in the Fourth degree (Class E felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third degree(Class B Felony), Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument (Class A Misdemeanor)

Dunkirk Police officers were assisted by Village of Fredonia Police and private citizens during the course of this incident.

NYS LEAH Chapter 154 visits DPD

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NYS LEAH chapter 154 delivers treats to Dunkirk Police Department Chief David Ortolano (left) and Sgt Michael Pakulski (right)

The NYS LEAH Chapter 154 came to The Dunkirk Police Department on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 and brought a large tray of homemade treats for our Department to show their appreciation for what we do to keep the Community safe. The children also made individual thank you cards for our Officers which were posted on the wall at the station. They were given a tour of the Station and shown a patrol car by Chief David Ortolano and Sgt. Michael Pakulski. “It was our pleasure to have the children visit and we appreciate that the children and their families took the time to show us that they care
about what we do for them each and every day.” – Chief David Ortolano

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Sgt Pakulski showing a police car to NYS LEAH Chapter 154

“Thank you, Dunkirk PD, for allowing us to come and show our appreciation to
our local law enforcement.
We are a group of parents who are committed to teaching our children to obey
and respect the law, that includes those who are brave enough to serve in
the community and uphold those laws.
The children had fun and it was a good lesson for them to see how important
it is to tell others they are appreciated. It was clear that it meant
something to your officers to have the support of the people you serve.
We are truly grateful for your sacrifice and many of us remember you in
prayer regularly.

Thank you for all you do!”

Melissa Schrock
NYS LEAH Chapter 154
Loving Education At Home

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NYS LEAH Chapter 154 student sits in a DPD police car

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Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano handing out treats to NYS LEAH Chapter 154 students

Shooting Investigation Arrest

Angel Lopez-Tirado

Angel Lopez-Tirado

The Dunkirk Police Department responded to a report of a possible victim with a gunshot wound at 544 S. Roberts Road at approximately 10:25 PM on July 25th, 2016.  A 4 year old victim was treated by Dunkirk Fire/Rescue and transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital where he was treated and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Buffalo with non life threatening injuries.

Following a lengthy investigation into the incident by Officers from the 3-11 Platoon and Detective Division the above subject Angel Lopez-Tirado, age 27, of Dunkirk, NY, was taken into custody late Monday afternoon after a warrant was issued by City Court Judge Kuzdale for the charges of Reckless Endangerment 2nd Degree Class A Misdemeanor,  Criminal Possession Weapon 2nd Degree Class C Felony and Criminal Possession Weapon 3rd Degree Class D Felony. Lopez-Tirado is currently being held in the City of Dunkirk Holding Center pending his arraignment in City Court this morning. The weapon was recovered and is being held in evidence. The Dunkirk Police Department was assisted in the Investigation by the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, County Child Protection Services and the Child Advocacy Program.

National Night Out a Success

As we close out our 23rd year of National Night Out and begin to prepare for the 24th edition I want to take a few minutes to reflect on this year’s program. We had one of the largest turnouts for this year’s event with about 400 people attending throughout the evening. One of the most promising aspects of this year was that we saw a lot of new faces and families at the event as well as a mix of citizens of all ages, that is very encouraging and exactly what we want to see. Unfortunately in our business most of our interactions are not in a positive setting. National Night Out is one of our programs that gives us the opportunity to have positive interaction with citizens, families and children and build a relationship that teaches the value of trusting in the Police Department. We constantly work with the Community to send the message that we are here to keep it safe and the best way to do that is to have Community support starting with the children all the way to our senior citizens. A strong partnership within the Community is truly our best weapon in keeping it safe, it only takes a few minutes of time to get involved and make a difference. Without the help of the Community we would not have the success that we do in public safety.

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With recent tragedies within our Law Enforcement family nationwide it is now more important than ever to have this great relationship with our Community that we enjoy so very much. There has been an outpouring of support for our Officers in the past few weeks that has been unbelievable. We have received all kinds of baked goods and we have a wall that is full of thank you cards in the Police Station. There are so many citizens stopping our Officers to just say thank you and telling us they appreciate what we do that we can’t even keep count.  These are just a few examples of the acts of kindness that have been shown to the Police Department. This support from our Community is second to none and we are very proud to have them standing behind us, it truly is a great feeling to know they take the time to let us know they appreciate what we do and in turn we will continue to do our best for them each and every day.

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 I want to commend every citizen that gets involved in crime prevention and steps up to make this Community a safer place. I want to especially thank our Night Out Coordinators Arlene Langendorfer, Donna Howlett, Ruby Green, Lorie Michalak Herman, and Martha DeJesus for being there again this year. Many of these coordinators have been a mainstay of National Night Out for more than 15 years and Arlene has not missed a year since the very first Night Out 23 years ago. Their dedication is amazing and we could not do this program without them.

I want to also commend all of our Police Officers who have given their time to this program every year for the last 23 years, the large number of Officers who volunteer to participate each year shows their dedication to the Community. I also want to thank the Dunkirk Fire Department for their many years of participation as well, they have been a very welcomed addition to our Night Out activities.

The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our business sponsors for their support and dedication over the years, without them we would not enjoy the success we have. Our many thanks to Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak, Tops Markets – Jay Knavel, WalMart – Brad Balentine,  Southpaw Signs – Cody Britton,  P&G Foods – Gary & Patty Damico, Paper Factory – Bruce & Ann Mulkin,  McDonalds Restaurant,  G&E Tents – Bob Bankowski & Bob Karin, Awesome Bouncers – Jason Genovese, Save a Lot – Kevin Connelly, Atlas Comfort Cabins- Roger Gloss, Music by Nick and Andy, and Tim Hortons – Dave & Gina Kron.  A special thanks to WDOE/96KIX FM, The Observer, Mayor Willie Rosas, the Common Council and the Parks, Recreation and Public Works Departments for all their support. We are truly lucky to have the entire community take part in this event. With the help of everyone working together we will continue to make a difference in making our Community a safer place to live, visit and work in.

Respectfully,

Chief David Ortolano