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AUGUST 12 - AUGUST 20, 2014

Lewiston Police Flap Spills Over Onto Social Media

August 12, 2014

The battle over the Lewiston Police Department is heating up.

Press releases, newspaper articles and letters to the editor have appeared in the usual places since former town trustee Ron Craft began circulating a petition to consolidate the LPD with the Niagara County Sheriff's Department.

The LPD is using the social networking website Facebook to promote its arguments and rally the troops and a horde of people have come out of the woodwork to support the department.

However, judging from a few of their Facebook posts, some of the LPD's supporters need a course in anger management.

Conspicuous among these LPD's supporters is former Lew-Port Board of Education member Jim Sperdutti. Says Sperdutti via social media about Craft: "I would love for someone to come to my house with that petition...they might need the police they are trying to get rid of!"

Why would Craft need the police if he came to your house with his petition, Jim? Would you verbally abuse him, as several LPD supporters have already admitted doing?

Would you assault him?

Niagara Falls transplant Mark Briglio echoed Sperdutti's call for retribution by suggesting supporters picket Craft's house:

"Besides not signing the petition, let us know when and where we can show up for support. Let's have a march in front of the Jackass's house or houses that drafted the petition! Just say the word!" Briglio wrote.

The LPD is making their case on Facebook. Some of their supporters are zealous indeed.

"Where was Mr. Craft's petition when he was elected Trustee?" Duffy Fitzpatrick asked. "Seems that now that the people spoke volumes on not re-electing him his voice needs to be heard. LPD is doing an outstanding job."

Perhaps most alarming is the aggressive and confrontational tone of some Lewiston "ladies" who appear to be using the consolidation issue to help keep an even keel during mood-swings.

Donna Gilreath recounted for us all on the LPD's Facebook page: "I absolutely kicked the bearer of the petition off my property with a few choice words on the stupidity of it."

Kathie Wilson's post also showed that simply moving to Lewiston doesn't make someone any classier: "Shame on this person… Don't even bother coming to my door because it will get slammed in your face."

A few other mean girls posted their hope that Mr. Craft knock on their door so that they can give him a piece of their minds.

Diana M. Tamburrino: "I wish someone would ask me to sign it so I can scream in their face!"

And Amy Iven Wilson simply can't stand the anticipation: "Oooo....can't wait to throw him off my property!!!"

Other posters were somewhat more reasonable.

"I would rather cut town elements like the Senior Center and Joseph Davis Park efforts than remove the LPD," wrote Earl Zortman. "Does Craft really think the County Sheriff is going to give a crap about local traffic enforcement in the village and along the interior streets? The speeding and reckless driving in the outer towns outside Lewiston is horrible. As a bicyclist, I am concerned once drivers know the 45 and 30 MPH limits are no longer enforced."

It should be interesting to see if these early shots across the bow fired by the LPD's fellow travelers remains verbal or escalates to acts of violence. The LPD and their gung-ho supporters could make a formidable team in their efforts to quash the democratic process of the people.

The best way for the LPD and their supporters to convince their fellow taxpayers of the need of the LPD might very well be rationed arguments and solid facts.





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