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AUGUST 12 - AUGUST 20, 2014

Lewiston Police Chief Makes Argument for Keeping LPD

By Christopher Salada

August 12, 2014

Christopher Salada Chief of Police Lewiston PD

Chief of Police

Lewiston PD

Over the past several weeks now, petitions have been passed by Lewiston resident Ronald Craft to dissolve the Lewiston Police Department or consolidate with the Niagara County Sheriff Department.

Since the police department has been able to get some solid facts out to the public we have had overwhelming support from the public. Multiple residents either in person, in the media or social media have expressed support for the police department as well as frustration that someone is trying to reduce public safety in Lewiston.

We have been made aware of that when residents were approached to sign the petition they were misled by vague information, lopsided comparisons and high pressure sales.

We want the correct information to be disseminated in the petition process.

If the only thing you tell people is that they are going to save money and not advise them about the collateral damage that would occur by eliminating a police department, then the average person might sign the petition.

The fact is that Sheriff James Voutour has never been contacted by the any Lewiston representative in order to strike a deal that would have them absorb LPD or take over patrols in Lewiston. The Sheriff has his own budget to work within and positions his patrols throughout the 12 towns in the county accordingly. Sheriff Voutour has come out stating he supports the Lewiston Police Department.

Lewiston gets busier and busier every year with the number of festivals, concerts and people who just come to enjoy our community. These events bring in thousands of new people annually and they require police coverage. For the most part these events bring in orderly people who want to have a good time but along with that it also brings in criminals, opportunists and trouble makers that have to be monitored, removed or arrested by the police.

Lewiston Police Department is unique in the fact that we have part time officers on patrol, unlike the Sheriff's Department and the State Police. Economically, this is where LPD has an advantage on these other police departments. Instead of staffing an event with four full time police officers that would be making time and half their normal rate of pay, LPD can deploy four part time officers at a straight time rate that is even well below the normal rate of a full time officer. Over the year and over several events this is a significant cost savings.

Residents and visitors of Lewiston enjoy a great quality of life and have peace of mind knowing that their local police department is only minutes away if they ever need us.





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