|Notice to criminals in Niagara Falls: New Police Chief Bryan DalPorto is putting more of the (photo above) on the streets, which means more of you are going off the streets, and into cages where you belong.
|Hail to the chief: Bryan DalPorto (Courtesy WKBW TV.)
The Niagara Falls Police Department is under the direction of a new chief, Bryan DalPorto, 42, a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls.
And the first thing the chief told the Reporter he is going to do is to put more police on patrol, in marked patrol cars.
A 15-year veteran of the force, DalPorto replaces John Chella and he plans, as early as this week, to up the number of six patrol cars per shift to as many as 12 or more during peak times. This should have a chilling effect on crime.
Chief Chella, despite the wave of violent crime throughout the city during the last five years, was loath to make his men go out and do lowly patrol work, and held to the un-magical number of six cars on patrol. This figure delighted criminals around this city.
Actual studies - too numerous to mention - along with the kind of common sense that any blockhead can understand, show that police on patrol reduce street crime.
In selecting DalPorto, Mayor Paul Dyster chose to hire from within the ranks of the force, rather than conducting a national search.
DalPorto was a commander with the 107th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard and a corrections officer before coming to work for the Niagara Falls Police, where he began on patrol.
While Chella repeatedly told the local news media that crime is down in Niagara Falls, the perception of the public is quite different.
Crime is not down; it is up.
Niagara Falls has been an increasingly dangerous city, where there are people who will commit robbery at gunpoint, knifepoint, in gangs, commit burglaries, sell drugs on your street with impunity, invade your home, and shoot guns in the dead of night.
And, if they can’t find anything better to do, they will sneak in to your house and steal your copper plumbing for a hit of crack.
It has been estimated by knowledgeable police sources that about 2,000 repeat offender criminals -- many of them from extended families, some of them multi-generational, most of them men, most of them minorities -- are the cause of most of the crime in this city.
Two thousand criminals are holding the other 48,000 citizens hostage.
Under the Chella plan, to combat these, there were 155 policemen, but only a total of six patrolling the streets on a regular basis, with one uniformed policeman per car. The story of there being only six police on patrol per shift is a story we broke last year, much to the consternation of the police department brass who did not want that untidy little secret known.
The Reporter repeatedly asked if it were possible to reassign some of the current force in order to increase the number on patrol.
“Would it be possible,” we wrote, “to take a policeman from each of several ‘special’ units and add a couple of the large number of officers assigned to desk jobs, and give them a car?”
We wrote that we do not, for one minute, believe we need more police; we just need more than six on patrol.
“Funny, isn't it?”, we wrote. “When people think about adding police, they always think in terms of more of them on patrol. They do not want police at the station doing paperwork. They do not think about them doing special investigative work…No, the people who pay the police -- the taxpayer, the frightened taxpayer -- want more police on patrol on the streets.”
We always doubted that there was a shortage of police and so we asked for the answer to the question: “Someone has to stand up and explain why, with a force of 155, there can't be more than six (patrol cars) out at any one time.”
Well, finally someone stood up.
His name is Bryan DalPorto and he is the new chief of police, and he is putting more police - taking them off special assignment duties – on the streets.
“Six patrols cars are (usually) not sufficient to adequately patrol the city,” he told the Reporter. “My intention is to get more officers into police cars. Yes, we are shifting officers around to do that. The very perception of police presence has a role in deterring crime.”
How is the chief going to do it?
Transfer officers from the specialized units and put them on patrol.
“I never had a problem making tough decisions,” DalPorto said. “This is a really good police department; it’s a great department, and it is capable of doing great things.”
Like making city streets safe? Like giving back the 48,000 good people their city, even if it means putting 2,000 thugs who are ruining the quality of life in this city – every last one of them - in jail?
“I never had a problem putting people in jail,” Chief DalPorto said.
Do you remember a day, Chief DalPorto, when women could walk safely on the streets at night anywhere in this city? Do you remember a time when our elderly could shop on Pine Avenue or Main Street and have no fear? Do you recall a day when we never thought about locking our car or even the door to our homes and when children played innocently, their parents unconcerned of the nearness of crime?
The chief said he did, and that that day might come again.