Community places part of blame on students following last week’s shooting
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
Hamlin Park community members blamed the Sept. 25 shooting on the drug market brought to the community by Canisius students.
Community members voiced their concerns in a meeting last Saturday prompted by the shooting. The meeting was held outside of the Holly Farm market to discuss violence in the Hamlin Park community. The meeting was open to the public, and Canisius students and community members were encouraged to attend.
Public Safety director Gary Everett, four Buffalo Police officers, president of the Hamlin Park Association Stephanie Barbour-Geter, the Holly Farm market owner and 15 community members gathered to discuss how to make the area safer for everyone.
After the Sept. 25 shooting Barbour-Geter has requested that the police commissioner reveal the pictures from the camera positioned at the corner of Oakgrove Avenue and East Delavan Avenue.
“This store has a role. This camera has a role. We really have to insist if you come here to buy drugs, you’re going to jail,” she said.
Community members in attendance addressed concerns about the Buffalo Police responding to their calls. E-District Police Chief Kimberly Beaty and Deputy Commissioner Charles Tomaszewski, urged community members to continue to call.
“We have to get a call to know what’s going on,” Beaty said. “We can’t be everywhere. You have to shed some light on what’s happening over here otherwise we don’t know.”
Community members in attendance also said they are frustrated with Canisius students.
“We’ve found that the students who live in dorms, the freshmen, come out in droves, packs of hundreds, and roam the streets,” Barbour-Geter said. “We need Canisius to do something about that, before somebody gets hurt again.”
“When those students come over here, off of Canisius property, they are my problem,” Beaty said.
Everett urges community members to call the Buffalo police when this happens. He said his department will work in conjunction with the Buffalo Police to increase the safety of the community.
Everett also pointed out that there will be an additional crime camera installed in the next three weeks on the corner of Meech Avenue and Loring Avenue, similar to one on Oakgrove and East Delavan.
“It’s going to give us a view of the backyard of the College,” Everett said. “We can use it to gather plate numbers.”
With input from the community members, Buffalo Police officers and Everett, the meeting generated a plan that calls for cooperation from all parties.
Barbour-Geter said first priority is to slow down drug purchasing in the area. This will be accomplished by using the camera pictures to determine who has been coming to buy drugs. Alleged buyers and sellers will receive a notice from Barbour-Geter that if they come again they will be arrested.
The second part of the plan calls for better communication with the Buffalo Police Department, on both ends. Barbour-Geter asks that the police respond better to their 911 calls, and that her fellow community members don’t get discouraged and continue to call.
The third part is that the storeowner must remove graffiti and put up a light on the back end of the store.
The final piece is that in the next few weeks, Canisius will be installing an additional crime camera on the corner of Meech and Loring to deter any issues on campus from reaching out into the community.
Everett is confident with this plan in place and his department’s previous experience with similar issues, safety in this Hamlin park area will improve quickly.