To The Editor:
So by now most of you have heard that the new U-Haul that is being developed (in the old Nestle Building 30) was heavily vandalized last evening and has suffered damage.
Between this, and other incidents harmful to the quality of life of the community that appear to be on the uptick, it is time something more was done.
I believe it is time for the city to explore the concept of a volunteer Auxiliary Police unit to augment the Fulton Police Department, which could serve under the auspices of the FPD.
Very similar to the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program that Cicero Police Department has, and has been utilized heavily in other parts of the state (including extensively downstate and in western NY), they would act as the “eyes and ears” of the police, assist in directing traffic during accidents or special events, and could even provide security in the parks.
At the first sign of trouble, or a suspicious occurrence, these officers would have direct contact with the FPD desk to request police assistance/presence, and in extension providing a visible deterrent in the community.
This would save precious seconds and give the police a jump on would-be criminals.
This could also serve well from a community policing perspective as the auxiliary units would be a friendly face helping to represent the police department in the neighborhoods, thus bridging any gaps.
We have one of the finest police departments in the state, and I salute them and their outstanding works, but they can only do so much and cannot be everywhere at once.
It is the community’s responsibility to be vigilant help keep our neighborhoods safe, this is one such way we can do that.
There are federal grants that exist for this concept, so it could be done at little to no cost to the city.
This would not only serve as a city wide “neighborhood watch”, but could also help to take on some of the “non-police” work that our law enforcement agency gets stuck with at time and allow them to focus on the real police matters.
I was a member of the Cayuga County Auxiliary Police before I became a college campus police officer, and I can tell you firsthand it is effective yet inexpensive. I will publicly state here that I am even willing to volunteer to assist in any venture of this vein that the city would be willing to pursue.
Third Ward Councilor Don Patrick has offered to sit down with me and listen to this concept in person.
To the other elected officials who I have initially presented this idea to, or who may simply be reading this narrative, what say you?
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Ralph E. Stacy Jr.
Proud Fourth Ward Citizen – Fulton, NY