Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 6, 2013

Police explain impact zone tonight

PUBLIC MEETING: People encouraged to speak out at Refuge Temple.

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Lockport police will conduct a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at the Refuge Temple, 15 Cottage St. regarding its impact enforcement zone in the Washburn-Genesee Street neighborhood.

"Anytime there's increased enforcement of an area, people want to know why," Chief Larry Eggert said. "People are hypersensitive to the area now. ... We want to let everybody know what s going on. It gives people a chance to speak out. We'll take information. If there's something we need to change, we'll do that."

Crime in the area has trended down after the first few weeks of the crackdown.

"It's not uncommon for drug arrests to go down significantly because all the drug dealers know what we're doing so they leave," Eggert said. "The prisoners we do bring in say, 'We laugh. We know what you're doing. You're cracking down you're not going to get any big people here because they know it. They're going to leave the area.' "

Lockport, which is 20 miles from Niagara Falls and Buffalo, may be seen as a safe haven for high-level criminals, according to the chief. "Here, you don't get shot at. You can get three of four times more when you sell drugs. Here, you're kind of anonymous. Sometimes they come here just to lay low."

Eggert said he has not had a single complaint about the crackdown, which he feels is surprising. "When you do something like this, people kind of get caught in the net, but people understand why we're doing it," he said.