Falconer residents form Neighborhood Watch, Facebook group | News, Sports, Jobs

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon
Sheriff Jim Quattrone, at Wednesday’s county legislature meeting, expresses his support for the new Falconer Neighborhood Watch group.

MAYVILLE — Kerry Chase has lived in Falconer for 48 years. She believes the quality of the neighborhood has gone downhill since Chautauqua County has been placing people who are homeless in the Budget Inn.

She decided to do something about it.

During Wednesday’s county Legislature meeting, Chase was one of a handful residents who spoke out during the meeting, expressing her concerns about the clientele staying in the motel. “Over the last few years, I have seen how our community has deteriorated and I realized instead of complaining about it, it was time to take action. I decided to do the research and create a Neighborhood Watch program,” she said.

Chase invited politicians in attendance to the first meeting, which took place Thursday night at the Falconer Library.

“We are beating the streets. I am talking to people, I am going into businesses and I have decided that it’s time to take action. We need to see some change in Falconer,” she said. “We don’t feel safe in our community to walk down our streets alone. We don’t want to send our children out and we are not that kind of village. That is not the village we grew up in.”

Chase believes those that are staying in the motel would be better off elsewhere. “We lack the resources to give these people to help them thrive,” she said.

Another female resident who spoke at the meeting said a male staying at the motel had exposed himself to her. He was arrested and charged with public lewdness.

The woman said the suspect, who had been arrested multiple times prior, was released again due to bail reform. However, before being released, he was brought to Mayville because she filed an order of protection. If she hadn’t, the woman said, she was worried the man may have tried to follow her. “Would he have followed me home? Could he have found my car? That was a risk I didn’t want to take,” she said.

Nikki Pierce with PersNikkity Pies also spoke at Wednesday’s legislature meeting. She said that along with the Neighborhood Watch Group, there is also a new Facebook page, “Falconer, NY Neighborhood Watch.” As of Wednesday night, the group, which is private, had 915 members.

Pierce spoke at the July legislature meeting as well and said since that meeting, many people have expressed concerns to her. “Most of the concerns are drug adult people walking on their properties, walking on their porches, banging on their doors in the middle of the night, asking for money, food, medical care, whatever, and not leaving when asked to,” she said.

Other concerns include people looking in their windows, their garages, and having things on their property stolen.

Pierce invited all those in attendance to come visit Falconer and see the problems themselves. “We would ask the county government to assist us any way possible. This doesn’t have to be financial assistance, in my opinion. This can be people coming down and talking to us, talking to business owners, walking around and seeing what’s going on in the day and even at night,” she said.

Falconer Mayor Jim Jaroszynski, who spoke at two committee meetings last week and spoke at the legislature meeting last month, scolded officials for not addressing their concerns. “… this body is ignoring our pleas for assistance and a better solution for transitional and code blue for our county,” he said.

Sheriff James Quattrone, who was at the legislature meeting, thanked everyone who spoke and said Falconer isn’t alone with these concerns.

“Transitional housing is an issue,” he said. “It’s been an issue for several years. It’s probably our biggest issue when we’re releasing people from the Chautauqua County Jail, where they’re going to go and where they’re going to live.”

He said the county Legislature can’t solve this problem alone. “Every municipality in Chautauqua County needs to be involved,” he said. “We need to get the mayors involved, the town supervisors involved, and find ways and find places for individuals to stay.”

Quattrone also thanked the residents for forming the Neighborhood Watch group. “We need to watch out for each other, but be smart about it. I’m hoping those involved in the Neighborhood Watch get some training and there’s some joint training around the county for that,” he said.

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