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Massena Police Department teams up with businesses in new partnership

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MASSENA - Patrolmen with the Massena Police Department are teaming up with local businesses under a new partnership to provide more of a one-on-one service.

The first two businesses to take advantage of the partnership are Blevins Seaway Motors, which is teamed up with Ptl. Ian Vanier, and the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, which is teamed up with Ptl. Cody Wilson.

The initiative was suggested by Colin Lucid, the chaplain for the Massena Police Department.

“We’ve been tossing it around. Colin Lucid started the idea,” Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said.

He said that a uniformed police officer will visit with representatives from the participating businesses once a month or more times if necessary.

He said the partnership gives his officers an opportunity to share important information such as crime trends or safety-related information with businesses. It also allows business representatives to ask questions directly to the officer and give them their own point of contact as a direct link to the police department.

“Often times they may have information or inquiries. It opens a line of communication between the business community and police department. It really fits with the community,” Mr. Currier said.

“I like that one-on-one. We’ll be able to talk about issues that don’t involve the whole police department. This also allows the business owner to raise concerns, offer praise or talk about topics that don’t need to be called into the station,” chamber Director Kathleen Kelly-Ori said.

She said they were first approached by Mr. Currier and now they’re reaching out to all of the chamber member businesses to let them know abut the partnership opportunity.

“We are endorsing the program. We’re talking to our members,” she said.

Frank Lallier, Blevins Seaway Motors general manager, said they received a call from Mrs. Kelly-Ori about the initiative.

“We’re always interested in partnering with the police department. It’s nice to have that line of communication. It creates a sense of ownership,” Mr. Lallier said. “It’s only a benefit.”

Anyone who is interested in signing up for the initiative can contact Mrs. Kelly-Ori at 769-3525 or Mr. Currier at 769-3577 or email chief@police.massena.ny.us.

Mr. Currier said that officers will likely be assigned to more than one business. How many they work with will be contingent on how many businesses sign up, he said.

“I talked to Kathy, and we started with chamber businesses first. We took the businesses and pared them down,” he said.

“We’ll each be assigned three or four businesses depending on how many sign up,” said Ptl. Vanier, who is now working with Blevins Seaway Motors.

He said they regularly check businesses in the community, and this partnership will allow them to meet weekly or as needed with business representatives.

“It’s nice to talk to business owners. We also let them know about things in the area,” he said.

Mr. Currier said the overall goal of the partnership is to reduce crime. He said that, in 2013 the crime index for Massena dropped for the first time since 2007. The crime index is a uniform crime report of reportable crimes.

“It dropped 200 points,” he said. “We’re hoping this program will help continue this trend.”

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