JAMESTOWN – City officials spent much of Monday’s Jamestown City Council work session discussing the growing drug problem in the area.
Council President Greg Rabb asked police chief Harry Snellings to provide details on what the police department has been doing to combat the growing drug problem, as well as provide an update on some recent high profile cases – including the shooting at Appleyard Terrace which took place one week ago.
Snellings said that the Jamestown Police Department is continuing to put the pressure on drug dealers in the area, with local media and community members helping to send the message that heroin and other illegal narcotics are not welcome in Jamestown. But he also admitted that the drug issue is a growing problem not only in the city but across the country, and as a result the community needs to also do what it can to stem the growing tide drug trafficking into Jamestown and Chautauqua County.
However, Snellings also pointed out that comparatively speaking, crime has not seen a sharp increase compared to recent years. He said that some high profile cases and media coverage could lead people to think crime is spiraling out of control, but he added that the numbers are actually similar to where they were in past years. So far this year the city has had three shooting incidents, compared to only one by this time last year.
In addition to comments from Chief Snellings and Council President Greg Rabb, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also offered his thoughts in the issue, explaining that he had instructed Snellings more than a year ago to be more aggressive when it comes to investigating the trafficking of drugs into the community. He added that the city has been on top of the issue, addressing during his State of the City Speech at the start of the year as well as during a recent council work session when the focus was on housing issues.
Snelling said part of that effort includes having the community attend the upcoming Drug Forum at Jamestown Community College. The forum – which is being sponsored by the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission – will feature the Chief Snellings and two other individuals, including Dr. David Withers – an expert in drug addiction.
The forum will take place Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Scharman Theater and JCC and is free and open to the public.