Common Council holds public safety meeting to discuss crime

ROME- Residents continued to complain about crime in the town, while one resident urged neighbors to do their part to report potential crimes or suspicious activity during Wednesday’s Common Council meeting held in the hall of the city ​​hall council.

Comments were made during the public speaking portion of the regular Common Council meeting, which immediately followed a working session held at City Hall to brief councilors and put in place plans for the organization of a public safety meeting open to community members and business owners, as well as elected officials, members of the administration and representatives of local associations.

The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 at 6 p.m. at the South Rome Senior Center, 112 Ridge St.

Walter E. Beverly III of Seville Drive opened the public speaking portion by pointing out that Rome’s 74 police officers are “distributed to various duties” and that it is “physically impossible” to station patrols in all city ​​businesses.

He said crime prevention is “everyone’s business” and encouraged neighbors to get involved with the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program and do their part to practice the slogan “If you see something , say something” and report suspicious activity to the police.

“I’ve read…how some businesses have been victims of crimes, such as armed robbery and assault,” Beverly said. “Although I feel for these business owners, they have failed to consider that the police in this city cannot be everywhere when a crime or other incident occurs. If they feel they must be physically present at their business, they should hire a security guard.”

Dennis Perfetti, son of Ian Perfetti, owner of both Bill’s Variety and Liquor Express on West Thomas Street, countered Beverly’s comments, saying his neighbors report activity when they see it and reiterate that the city does not was still not working towards a solution on the rise. in crime.

“Last Saturday, a local neighbor came up to me and said, ‘The people who held you at gunpoint were in the neighborhood looking at my bike,’ his motorcycle, ‘for the steal”, and he prevented them”. said Perfecti. “Saturday, I walked across the street to the officer sitting at the municipal pool, then he left, and I didn’t see ‘a police presence’ the rest of the night. So if someone in my neighborhood sees something, they definitely say it.”

Perfetti went on to complain that there were not enough streetlights in her family’s business district, but there were plenty in the arts district along West Dominick Street. He said there was also a need for street cameras.

“If it’s on, guess what? It’ll probably slow down crime,” he said. “…The first part of the problem is for this city to admit there is a problem, get the trust and answer us when we call. It would be nice if we had the mayor here to solve these problems .”

Tiffany L. Mahoney of North Madison Street said she understands that people are passionate about crime issues and that over the past few months she has had incidents in her home. She complained that for an incident in which a neighbor saw someone suspicious trying to look in her window, a patrol car responded but the officer did not get out of the car.

“What can we do as a community to try to help fight crime?” Mahoney asked. “We’ve had several kids running down the street on quads and dirt bikes on Halloween, and when we call officers, they can’t find them, but we’re able to track them down at their house. That can we do to support you? to make our city safer?”

David Halpin of Elm Street, who like Beverly was at the public safety business session ahead of the city council meeting, encouraged residents to attend the Nov. 16 public safety meeting.

Community members “are more than welcome to come out there and voice their concerns and participate, but I want to make sure this is a civil meeting and not a shouting match,” said Halpin said. “We all know there’s crime in the city – we know what’s going on – and we need to find solutions and be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and make sure we stand up for a safe city.”

During councilors’ reports, city council president Stephanie Viscelli said she agreed crime was a problem in the city and that council had worked to create a framework for the Nov. 16 meeting.

“At this point, we really want to start working on a solution, and we invite everyone to come to the center for elderly people in southern Rome at 6 p.m. on Wednesday,” Viscelli said. “Please ask people you know – we invite community leaders, county legislators, administrators. … Invite business owners you know, people in your neighborhood – we will try to find solutions to our problems of We are aware of the concerns that people are raising, and we want to build that trust and that community, so that we can feel safe in our community.”

She said: “I think it’s important that we do our best to work together to try to address these issues. Without community input, it just won’t work.”

Regarding concerns about street lights and pole cameras, as well as the need for extracurricular activities for children expressed by another resident, Sixth Ward Councilman Riccardo D. Dursi Jr. said, “We we’re looking to get as many as we can,” right down to the cameras pole. “I know the new LED streetlights can be made brighter and we can talk to the DPW (Department of Public Works) – that’s something we can do right now.” He also pointed to plans to install basketball courts at Kennedy Arena and skate ramps at Pinti Field, for example.

The following law was approved unanimously:

• Resolution 118: acceptance of an anonymous donation of an EDJI Drone Version 1 to be used by the Rome Police.

• Resolution 119: To authorize the Mayor to enter into an intermunicipal agreement with Oneida County relating to snow and ice control of highways in Oneida County for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 snow seasons.

• Resolution 120: Authorize the Mayor to enter into an agreement with the First Presbyterian Church for the use of the Justice Building parking lots for employee parking needs.

• Resolution 121: Authorize an amendment to the 2022 municipal water budget in the amount of $275,000.

• Ordinance 9547: Authorization of the Mayor to enter into rental agreements with Enterprise Fleet Management for the rental of eight municipal vehicles.

• Order 9548: Authorize the closure of part of North James Street from West Liberty Street north to West Court Street for the annual Veterans Day program.