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Allentown Crime & Safety Committee provides update for summer 2018

STAFF REPORTS

ALLENTOWN, N.Y. -- We congratulate our friend, Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, who was recently appointed to this new leadership position in the Buffalo Policy Department after serving two years as Chief of B District. He will be greatly missed. As Chief, Deputy Commissioner Gramaglia was personally involved in all issues of concern to residents and businesses. His availability and responsiveness as well as the direction that he brought to officers has helped the Buffalo Police Department to mitigate many issues brought to the attention of the Association by residents and businesses. He treated quality-of-life complaints with the same attention as more serious crimes, building strongly on the positive relationship with the community that was created by Chiefs Donna Berry and Brian Patterson. We welcome Chief Barb Lark, who moves to B District from C District. Chief Lark formerly served as Lieutenant in B District and brings familiarity with the area to her new position. Members of the Association will be meeting soon with Chief Lark to discuss issues of concern in Allentown.

On the negative side, a shooting on the westernmost block of Allen Street on May 5, the second shooting on the street in six months, is striking proof that the over saturation of bars on Allen and other neighborhood streets draws far too many people to the compact residential neighborhood. Many come intent on causing trouble and this atmosphere is creating a steadily over-heating powder keg that will lead to larger explosions if the city does not take measures to reduce the number of liquor-based businesses and reduce the large crowds that are so disruptive to the neighborhood.  There are currently at least two new liquor license applications pending for Allen Street and others are anticipated for Elmwood and nearby streets in the district. Residents are encouraged to contact members of the City’s Common Council and the Mayor to let city leaders know that the district simply cannot sustain any additional bars.

With the coming of the warm weather, the Crime and Safety Awareness Committee reminds residents that better weather encourages everyone to spend more time outside – including those intent on criminal activity. Residents are reminded to never leave windows open when you are not home, to secure window sashes where air conditioners are installed so that windows cannot be opened further and all residents are asked to leave porch lights on at night to discourage crime by reducing dark spots where criminals can work without being seen. Finally, the number one crime remains theft from vehicles. Residents are reminded to never leave cell phones, other electronics or any item that appears desirable in plain view in a vehicle. Lock all cars at all time – even if it is parked in a driveway.

If you have a specific concern that you would like to report or would like assistance from a member of the Crime and Safety Awareness Committee, please email the Association at contact@allentown.org and your concern will be forwarded to the committee.