Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

January 21, 2013

Making an impact

Police, building inspection launching enforcement blitz in the blocks around Washburn and Genesee streets


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — On Thursday, police busted a pair of suspected drug dealers after a routine traffic stop at Washburn near South street. Both suspects fled the vehicle and struggled physically with officers trying to stop them; one got away and both officers suffered minor injuries, Eggert said.

In some but not all of those cited incidents, police note, the aggressors are from outside the Lockport area.

Eggert asserted “most major crimes” in the city are being committed by outsiders, who come from Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Rochester, often to sell drugs then go home.

Technically, Tucker announced creation of an inter-agency “project impact team” that will hit selected geographic areas of the city based on reported rates of criminal activity.

The Transit-High-Erie-Walnut area is the “first” declared impact zone but it won’t be the only one, he promised.

The Transit-High-Erie-Walnut zone is first because it’s where police are seeing the biggest increase in service calls. According to Eggert, from 2011 through 2012, the department saw a 27 percent increase in calls for service, meaning every thing officers do from writing parking tickets and fielding nuisance complaints to investigating a shooting.

“It’s a pretty significant increase,” Eggert said. “It means the neighbors are starting to notice” bad acts by others.

On the city map, the impact zone is the center of Lockport, and the Washburn-Genesee streets intersection is the center of the zone.

A stone’s throw from two major real estate developments, the $8.6 million Lockport Canal Homes rental housing project by Housing Visions and a $4 million project to remake a section of Harrison Place for Trek Inc., “Washburn-Genesee” also has been code for “bad neighborhood” for at least the past couple of decades.

The Jan. 3 non-fatal shooting of a city resident occurred within one city block of the Housing Visions and Trek projects. The shooter fired at least two shots, one of which traveled across Washburn Street and struck a window at Harrison Place.

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