Back to School Safety

Summer vacation has ended and school will be starting September 5th  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 15 MPH for all School areas except 20 MPH on Rt.#60 at School #3 and 25 MPH on Rt.#5 at School #7 from 7:00 AM until 3:30 PM  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 anyone’s 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.

Thank You for Your Support

On behalf of the City of Dunkirk Police Department and the Dunkirk Police Benevolent Association (PBA) we want to express our most sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we received when our beloved K-9 Officer Matthew Hazelton Passed away. We had two priorities during this very heartbreaking time for us. First was to do everything we could to comfort and help Matt’s wife Jennifer, daughter Ava and their family through this very difficult time for them.  The Second was to honor Matthew with the respect and honor he earned and deserved for his dedicated service to our Community.

First and foremost we want to thank the Hazelton Family for allowing us to honor Matthew with the Active Line of Duty Police Officer Services that he absolutely earned and deserved. Jennifer is an amazing young lady and has wonderful support from her family. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them.

Law Enforcement is often a thankless service but throughout the very difficult week of Matthew’s funeral as we struggled with our loss we learned that our Brothers and Sisters in Law Enforcement and Fire Service as well as the residents and business people of our area Communities are the best any Police Department could ever ask for. The support we received from all of them was nothing short of amazing and that support continues to this day.  We truly are blessed to have such caring Brothers and Sisters in the Police and Fire Service and we again are truly blessed to serve such wonderful and caring people of our Communities.

Police Officers from across the state turned out in hundreds for the Funeral Home and Church Services. The assistance provided by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office with Planning, Patrols and the Fredonia Police Department for their Patrol Officers during the week was incredible. Special thanks to Deputy Jake Stahley and Retired Deputy Tina Holtz for their countless hours of support with the planning. The Jamestown Police Department sent their Honor Guard and Erie County Sheriff’s Office their Bagpiper. Every Police Department in our County and Officers from New York State Police, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara Counties, State and Federal Officers as well as Officers from many Cities, Counties, Towns and Villages from across the State arrived to show their respect for Matthew.  K-9 Officers with their partners came from everywhere. Their presence and comforting words of respect for Matthew gave us strength as we struggled with our loss. The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council provided the firing Squad and Brandon Katta played Taps for the Services.

The City of Dunkirk Fire Departments show of Respect during Matthew’s services was outstanding. The Dunkirk and Fredonia Fire Departments provided the Aerial Trucks to fly the flag at 4th/Central with the flag coming from Mayville Fire Dept. via Emergency Services Director Julius Leone. Sheridan Fire Department provided the bunting for Police Headquarters.  Many other Fire Departments from our County sent representatives to pay their respects. The County Fire Police Team came with no questions asked to provide assistance with traffic control.

Just as amazing was the support we received from citizens and businesses from our area Communities. Countless numbers of people stopping to say they were sorry or drop off baked goods and food. Painted rocks and flowers left at the wreath in front of HQ were

Beautiful and Heart Wrenching. We received countless cards and letters of sympathy, some from places as far away as Indiana, North Carolina and Texas. Resident Steve Helwig offered us the use of his driveway to set up for the end of watch last call at the Church Services. One anonymous City resident gave a very large donation to help with costs to set up a permanent memorial for Matthew. These are just a few examples of the support we received.

Local businesses stepped up without hesitation and were honored to help us have the best of what we needed for Matthew’s Service. Many donated items for the Services and others helped with financial support for the expenses. Our many thanks to: Cody Britton from Southpaw Signs/Smith & Smith Trophies, Bruce & Ann Mulkin from Paper Factory, Nancy Persch from Copy Boy, Michael Zeigler from Pauls Limousine Service, Steve St.George from S. St.George Construction, Stacy Timmerman from Shorewood Country Club, Marcy Pakulski & Ray Navarro from Jamestown Plastics, Teft Glass, Seasonal Designs & Freay Funeral Home, Nicole Mason & Jamie Russell from Its Your Day, Chris Wichlacz from Emergency Services and the Brocton American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary.

We want to thank Mayor Wilfred Rosas, the City Administration, DPW, Many City Employees, Judge Walter Drag and Chief Court Clerk Jean Dill for their caring support.

Heartfelt thanks to Photographer Ben Kravitz for the amazing photos, video and framed pictures. Joey Conti for his assistance with the photo’s. Thanks to John and Harry Kowal from McGraw/Kowal for all their assistance with the Services. We want to thank our local Media WDOE and the Observer for covering the arrangements and services with dignity and respect.

A  very special thanks to Father Dan Walsh from Holy Trinity Church for his guidance during a very difficult time and for the wonderful service for Matthew. And a special thanks also to the Wives of the Dunkirk Police Department Officers for their assistance with preparations for the services and for being the rocks that stood behind our Officers as we struggled with our loss.

Finally we want to commend all the men and women of the City of Dunkirk Police Department for working through a very difficult time in our Department History. The honor and respect shown to Matthew and his family was second to none. Although our hearts are broken and Matthew is gone from us he will never be forgotten. Dedication, Integrity, Honor and Respect are the words that describe K-9 Officer Matthew L. Hazelton. The legacy that he leaves us with will live on forever as he truly will be one of the best to ever walk the Halls of the Dunkirk Police Department and serve the citizens of our Truly Amazing Community. Rest in Peace our Dear Brother, we have it from here and please know that Jenn and Ava will forever be part of the DPD family.  As a family we are and will always be DPD Strong !!!

 

David C. Ortolano                Sgt. Mark N. Gruber

Chief of Police                      Dunkirk PBA President

Counterfeit $20 Bills in Circulation

The Dunkirk Police Department is currently investigating complaints of $20 US Currency bills being distributed in the area that are counterfeit. These bills contain Chinese writing (in red ink) on both sides. DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OF THESE BILLS. We are asking for the public’s assistance in locating any individuals involved. Please contact Police Headquarters with any information at (716) 366-2266.

Drug Arrest

GONZALEZ-RIVERA

Rafael R. Gonzalez-Rivera

On August 12, 2017, at about 5:30 PM, Officers were called to the area of the car wash behind Crosby Mart on Central Avenue for a vehicle lockout. After opening the door, a strong odor of marijuana was detected. With the assistance of Dunkirk Police K-9 Gunny, a subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Rafael R. Gonzalez-Rivera, 29, of Maple Avenue in Dunkirk, and Onix A. Lopez-Ortiz, 37, of W. Fourth Street in Dunkirk. Gonzalez-Rivera was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin and cocaine, while Lopez-Ortiz was found to be in possession of marijuana, and prescription medication which was not properly packaged. Both men are being held pending arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.  

CHARGES:  (Lopez-Ortiz): Criminal Possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, Unlawful possession of marijuana, (Gonzalez-Rivera): 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, 1 count of Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell.

Road Closure Thursday 08/10/17

On Thursday 8/10/2017, Central Avenue will be closed from Green Street to Waldorff Avenue from the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Funeral services for Dunkirk Police Officer Matthew Hazelton will take place during these hours. Suggested alternate routes are Brigham Road and Main Street. Please be respectful of all traffic control devices and workers. Thank you for your respect, cooperation and understanding during this time of remembrance.

Funeral Arrangements for Officer Matthew Hazelton

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated Thursday morning at 10 o’clock in the Holy Trinity Church at 1032 Central Ave, Dunkirk, NY. Calling hours will be held Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 P.M. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home at 736 Central Ave, Dunkirk, NY.

On Thursday morning, all Law Enforcement patrol vehicles will stage on the south side of Holy Trinity Church’s southern most entrance facing north. We recommend approaching on Central Ave. from Millard Fillmore Dr. or Waldorff Rd.

Immediately following the ceremony, there will be a procession of family and all law enforcement that will head north on Central Ave, west on Rt 5, south on Lake Ave, west on Rt 20 and south on Cemetery Rd. Upon arrival at the cemetery, all other law enforcement members are asked to proceed to the American Legion, at 110 W. Main St, Brocton, NY for a luncheon.There will be a private internment for family and Dunkirk Police Department members at the cemetery.

All outside law enforcement agencies are asked to contact either Lt. Mark Timmerman or D/Sgt. Daniel Manzella at (716) 366-2266 or dpd@dunkirkpolice.com if they will be participating on Thursday. We will need number of patrol cars and officers attending.

Officer Matthew Hazelton and K9 Nico

 

It is with heavy hearts that the Dunkirk Police Department announces the passing of K9 Officer Matthew Hazelton after a lengthy illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hazelton’s family and friends. Arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Gun Arrest

On July 27, 2017, at about 5:00 AM, Dunkirk Police officers performed a traffic stop on E Front St, in the City during the course of an investigation of a disturbance at 134 Lakeshore Dr E.  Through investigation, officers found the occupants, Jonathan M. Otero, age 26, and Ana L. Otero-Nater of Dunkirk in possession of a loaded pistol.  It is alleged that neither subject had any legal right to possess the firearm.  Both subjects were taken into custody and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and locked up in the city jail awaiting arraignment.

National Night Out

On Tuesday August 1st    the City of Dunkirk will be joining 30 million other citizens from over 9000 communities nationwide in celebrating National Night Out. This is the 24th    year that the Dunkirk Police Department is sponsoring National Night Out in the City of Dunkirk.

National Night Out is designed to give strength to neighborhood crime and drug prevention efforts and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and not afraid to fight back. Our National Night Out program is directly correlated to our neighborhood watch programs that are active throughout the community.

On Tuesday August 1st citizens in Dunkirk will be locking their doors, turning their lights on and spending the evening with their neighbors, Police Officers, Firefighters and City Officials.  Again this year we will have one centralized Night Out location at Washington Park. This will be the sixth year we have done the central location and we encourage everyone to come to Washington Park for the evening. Our coordinators will be working together on this event and we ask that anyone who can assist to please come to the Park before the event begins to help with set up. Also as in the past we also appreciate anyone who can to bring a desert to pass. The coordinators, who are the same dedicated citizens who work on our neighborhood watch program, donate a tremendous amount of time and work to this program every year, my hat is off to them as they make it all happen. The coordinators along with the support of the local businesses who donate to our program truly make Night Out the success that it is.

The Police Department will be at Washington Park during the evening with patrol cars, McGruff the crime dog you can meet our K-9 as well. Everyone from our Senior Citizens down to small children will have the opportunity to meet and interact with our Police Officers, this emphasizes the importance of the Police community partnership and pride in the community and allow for positive interaction between our citizens and our Police Officers. Also participating again this year will be the Dunkirk Fire Department. The Fire Department has joined forces with us and their participation is a huge success, it is important to show that we all are committed to making our community a safe place. The interaction between the Police Officers, Firefighters, City Officials and community residents build positive relationships that will benefit the entire community.

As an added bonus again this year we will have music by Left of Center and we have coordinated with the Recreation Department to have the Movie in the Park series at dusk to cap off our Night Out event. This year the movie will be Moana. We will have picnic tables to sit on or you can bring a blanket or lawn chair to the Park to sit on and enjoy the Movie.

***Again this years celebration will be held at Washington Park and we encourage everyone from all Wards of the City to attend. Night Out celebration will start at about 6:30PM with our usual activities and then cap off the night with a movie in the park donated by Family Video featuring Moana at dusk (approx. 8:30PM).

**Washington Ave. will be barricaded between Fifth and Sixth Streets and Fifth Street will be barricaded from Washington Ave. to Park Ave. to allow those attending Night Out a place to park. There is also plenty of parking in the surrounding area around Washington Park for everyone to attend the celebration.

Also as a reminder the coordinators could use a little extra help and we ask anyone with a few minutes to show up a little early and help with set up or stay a few minutes afterwards and help with clean up. We also stress that parents do not send their children alone to the events, this program in devised to show the children the importance of the community working together.

A strong Police/Community partnership within the community is the best weapon we have in keeping our City safe. It only takes a few minutes of time to get out and get involved and make a difference in the community. We have seen a very large change in the program over the years and more families are becoming involved, that is what this program is all about. As the program grows so does our commitment to working together to keep the community safe.

The Dunkirk Police Department and Night Out Committee would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support and dedication over the years. Our many thanks to Tops Markets – manager Scott Obert, WalMart-manager Brad Balentine, Southpaw Signs- Cody Britton,  P&G Foods- Gary and Patty Damico,  Paper Factory- Bruce & Ann Mulkin, Save A Lot- Kevin Connelly, McDonalds Restaurant, G&E Tents- Bob Bankoski & Bob Karin, Music by Left of Center, Blasdell Pizza – Mark Dulak, Awesome Bouncers – Jason Genovese, Atlas Comfort Cabins – Roger Gloss, Family Video – Manager Shelby Saylor and Dave & Gina Kron from Tim Hortons. Many of these sponsors have been part of National Night Out for a very long time and they donate services, food & refreshment items or financial support for our program, we could not have the success we do without their support.  A special thanks to WDOE/96KIX FM , Access 12, The Observer, the City Administration and our DPW and Parks Departments for all their support over the years. We are truly lucky to have the entire community take part in this event, together we will continue to make a difference one neighborhood at a time.

National Night Out Reminder

Just a reminder to mark your calendars for National Night Out. We will again this year be celebrating this Police/Community event at Washington Park on Tuesday August 1st starting about 6:30PM. There will be a full release with more details coming soon but we want to let everyone know so they can plan ahead. See you on August 1s