Thursday, August 19, 2010

"How's He Doing?" ... Chief Todd's First 6 Months


To say that Greece's new police chief's first 6 months on the job has been a whirlwind of activity is an understatement. Just reading through the list of major policing related events that have transpired since Chief Todd Baxter took his oath in February left me dizzy! Here's a recap:

The Resch murder/suicide; the triple homicide; stepped-up Dewey Ave patrols; GPD's internal reorganization/promotions; the Rahn trial; the mob @ the mall on Memorial Day; release of the Loszynski report; Chad Rahn's arrest following the arrest of Frank Arena & Matt Montrois in another case; Russell Station transformer vandalism ... what did I miss? 

I didn't mention the dozens of appearances Chief Todd has made speaking to community groups. Nor did I mention his participation in a fundraiser where he offered himself up for a stint in a dunk tank. I also left out how he presided over the new, expanded format of the National Night Out Against Crime event.

Bottom line: it appears Chief Todd is doing exactly what he promised us in late January when he said: "My three main goals are: (1) to rebuild community trust; (2) create more security within the department and bring stability to the police department; and (3) support those officers and bring back morale."

OK, so far, so good right? Well, that depends. I give him an "A" for saying what he means and meaning what he says. His words have been backed up by action, a must for building trust. He and his new department have "served" the community well. My issue is with how well we've been "protected."

In his 6 months on the job as Chief, crime seems to have become more prevalent in Greece. I say "seems" because it's hard to know what was reality under the "Safest Town" smokescreen built by Supervisor Auberger when Rahn was on watch. Certainly it's fair to say that more violent crimes have been in the news in Greece than at any time in the recent past. While Baxter has tended to his expressed goals, he's said little about what is needed TO PROTECT THE COMMUNITY IN GREECE.

After the mob @ the mall shutdown Selke's carnival early and permanently, Baxter predicted: "Just because we didn't make any arrests that night doesn't mean they're not going to be held to the letter of the law.” So far as I'm aware, no arrests have been made.

Back in March, Baxter pledged a crackdown using the "broken windows" theory of policing when he told a group: "We're going to have Code Enforcement on speed-dial." Has it happened? Again, I've heard nothing.
Looking ahead, I'd like to see Chief Todd make crime prevention an area of focus in this community. I'd like to see him take on the issue I wrote about in January when I stated: "Chief Baxter talks about needing the eyes & the ears of the community. Mr. Baxter, will YOU step-up and tell our Supervisor & Town Board that Neighborhood Watch groups MUST become a priority, instead of a nonentity? Those signs that dot the town look pretty, but are meaningless! "

When I wrote that, it was around the time that our Deputy Supervisor told a group that Greece had "three or four" Neighborhood Watch Groups operating in town. When pressed as to the specifics, he could only mention a group in Koda-Vista, one on the lakeshore and the Northgate Neighborhood Group - a group which has NOTHING to do with Neighborhood Watch. It isn't clear if the lakeshore group was related to a Charlotte group (think city, not Greece!), or one in Greece that is fighting windmills in the lake, instead of crime in the streets. Obviously, Greece has next to no true Neighborhood Watch Groups operating in town as of today! This MUST change.
I'm pretty sure Chief Todd is up to the task. The bigger question is, will Supervisor Auberger let him? It's time that the people of Greece be given this tool for crime prevention that empowers them to take back our neighborhoods from the thugs who have migrated out of the Tenth Ward and right up Dewey Avenue. Chief Todd can't do it all alone. He needs the community's help.

Empower The People: Make Neighborhood Watch a priority in Greece!


Anonymous said...

The heavy concentration of policing at the Barnyard Carnival was unable to prevent someone from borrowng some of the ride operator's cable. Barnyard & the operator have a cash reward for anyone who can help find the borrower. GPD is on the case. I predict the reward will go uncollected.

A new neighborhood watch group is being formed at the Ling Rd entrance to Russel Station. Coffee & cheap wine will be served at the olive tasting sponsored by the Ibedrolo Company who is sponsoring the group. Merrit Rahn has already sent his RSVP in indicating he will be unable to attend.

Nick Joseph's relatives have sent RG&E a glossy brochure explaining they are in the security business and could have kept the oil & copper inside the transformer.

A brilliant reporterette asked the RG&E spokesman why the company keeps these unused transformers just sitting around. Amazingly the spokesman had an answer without resorting to his teleprompter.

GPD has announced it is recruiting for the Auxiliary Police Force. This increased manpower will make the Town a safer place. Recruits will be trained to drive around in roached out police cars, screw with traffic, stand in intersections pissing off neighbors while runners without attached license plates hobble along North Greece Rd, and take turns stopping traffic in front of Churches on Sunday mornings so the holey can get home promptly. Volunteers will be generously compensated by an annual Thank You letter from Stupidvisor Hairburger, and be allowed to pose for a group photo annually.

At some future date the best & brightest unpaid pretend Buford Pussers may be allowed to patrol the Mall and other shopping plazas and issue Parking Tickets on the town's behalf. They won't get paid, but the Town will.

Anonymous said...

To 12:34 aka Nightowl
"while runners without attached license plates hobble along North Greece Rd" Are you talking about those planned runs where people are running for a cause ? Mostly on Sundays.

I only found out today that RGE Russell had a 2nd entrance which is to be exact on Kirkwood which is just off Ling.

RGE still shows as the owner and they receive a tax reduction for the property that faces the lake. It is called an "industrial exemption". They are paying almost 1/100th the tax they paid 3 years ago. The section near Ling is paying more tax. The accident happened way behind the plant up to a road called Mann St near the Lake Vista Condos. ( They are nowhere near the lake or a lake vista) So that oil and PCB had to travel about a half mile to get to the stream and lake.

Did you know that there are 2 businesses that have their address at the supposedly vacant and unused Russell Station? One of the businesses is called ISG Resources and has the same address as the station 1101 Beach Ave with a phone number 663-2510. They are also called Headwater Resources and according to Manta make cement from ash byproducts and have 1 to 4 employees and make profit of up to 2.5 million a year.
The other is Par Electric Contractors with the same address and phone 581-5850. Maybe their employees saw something. Funny that the news or police are not talking to them.

Anonymous said...

Well at least we might feel safer FROM the police. Unless we turn in a tip to 911 and they let someone know we did. And it is not just police officers that have access to that information and expose callers.
Firemen do also as evidenced by Nick Joseph being able to elude the police right after he crashed into that family. Maybe it is time for an internal investigation into this department.
Now that they are disclosing more of the crimes,can we see what was kept from us during the long dark ages of our "safest community" years?

Anonymous said...

Some people are just so filled with hatred on our policemen and women. It's really sad. I support them.

SCATS said...

To 9:16AM ~~ I think ALL of us support the good ones. The problem is, Greece PD became SO CORRUPT even they were having troubles figuring out who was a good cop & who was a bad cop. Unfortunately, not all of the bad cops are gone. Baxter needs to stay alert.