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Cheektowaga officials approve body cameras, pass garbage totes law

Some Town of Cheektowaga residents are making a mess with their garbage totes and recycling containers by leaving them in their front yards, or even on their front porches, officials say.

“Those are the kinds of things we’re trying to discourage,” Supervisor Mary F. Holtz said Monday.

It prompted the Town Board to pass a law Monday night requiring the containers to be removed from the curb within 12 hours after being emptied and placed behind or beside a building. The totes also have to be a minimum of 10 feet from any neighboring building.

“It gives us more teeth to keep the neighborhoods cleaner,” Holtz said.

The new law gives Sanitation Department officials, police officers and code inspectors the power to issue violation orders, summonses or appearance tickets to the property owner.

First-time violators face a fine of $25 with subsequent fines going up to $50 for the second violation and at least $100 for the third.

Also Monday, the board approved the Police Department’s proposal to conduct a free 30-day trial of body cameras for officers. The agreement with TASER International is the Police Department’s first field trial with body cameras, Holtz said.

“This gives us an opportunity to try them out and see what the costs are,” she said.

Officials also addressed security preparations for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration. Last year, Cheektowaga’s Independence Day was disrupted when unruly youths began fighting in Town Park.

The rides have been moved to the area near the ice rink and other efforts have been made to deter youths from congregating on the road that runs through the Harlem Road park, Holtz said. More cameras have also been installed in the park, she added.