BATAVIA – City Council member Rose Mary Christian this week promised Hutchins Street residents that the city will be addressing the problem of disorderly conduct in their neighborhood.
“We’re going to clean that area up. It always was a great neighborhood, and we’re going to get it back to being a great neighborhood,” Christian said after an hourlong discussion with eight Hutchins residents at City Hall.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and City Manager Jason R. Molino also took part in the meeting.
Christian said the main thing to come out of the talk was that neighbors will be working together to report the fighting, drunkenness and unruly behavior that have plagued that area in the last few years.
“People said they won’t be afraid to call police and if they have to, they will sign a complaint,” Christian said. “And we will be getting a hold of landlords to let them know there are problems with their tenants.”
Hutchins homeowner Kenneth Darch addressed the Council a couple of weeks ago, following a brawl on the street involving about 15 people. Two arrests were made.
As a result, Heubusch increased vehicle and foot patrols on the street, which runs south of Ellicott Street.
“It put a huge dent in the traffic on the street, without a doubt, but they’re not going to be able to keep the pressure up,” Darch said. “I agree we need to follow through and sign witness statements, but the city attorney has to clamp down a bit harsher on these people.”
Heubusch said the key is keeping the communication lines between residents and police open.
“We gave them a lot of information,” Heubusch said. “They can call a confidential tip line, contact our dispatchers, call a drug tip line, send us emails and sign witness statements. Without a signed deposition, we can’t arrest somebody if it’s not taking place in front of us.”
Heubusch said the Police Department will continue to have an increased presence on the street, and he urged city officials to enforce parking and code ordinances.