Jamestown, NY - There's been a spike in violent crime in Jamestown. Police have investigated three incidents where shots were fired, and one deadly shooting on South Main Street. 2 on Your Side spoke with Police Chief Harry Snellings on how his department is working with other agencies to solve these crimes. There's also a focus on the potential cause of some of the crime.
Jamestown Police say they are checking a number of leads to find those responsible for the shootings. The police chief went to a City Council Meeting to address their concerns. Chief Snellings says: "In this situation it's very unusual and something we don't want...four shootings in that span of days. Not in a city of our our size."
Obviously there are increased police patrols with a visible presence in neighborhoods. That's especially the case with the location of the South Main Street shooting which killed 26 year old Allen Burnett Junior of Buffalo. There have also been three other shootings in recent days which may or may not be related,
There's awareness of a potential outside criminal element. And that's why Jamestown Police are bringing in outside agencies. That's especially since some of the intended targets of the shootings are not cooperating and may be alleged criminals themselves.
Snellings adds: "New York State Police are always willing to help. They are providing two additional patrols n the city for us. And the FBI is working on intelligence for us. Trying to connect some of the people we're looking at."
We also asked if Snellings felt his department was somewhat overwhelmed by the shooting cases. He replied:
"Sure. It comes down to managing resources and prioritizing what you need to address."
They may also have to focus on the potential root cause. That would be the opioid epidemic with heroin trafficking and perhaps a need for adequate treatment and transitional housing for recovering addicts.
Rick Huber of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County says: "There's no safe place for them to go. Especially the women who are recovering. They say dealers will even go to their homes. A big concern for us."
There may be some hope with the opening of a new drug treatment clinic at WCA Hospital and more drug courts. But some fear the problem with drugs and crime in Jamestown and Chautauqua County may get worse before it gets better.