JAMESTOWN – Mayor Sam Teresi says the recent unsolved shootings that have taken place in the city remain number one on the city’s list of issues that need to be addressed.
During an interview with WRFA that will air Thursday at 5 p.m. on WRFA’s Community Matters program, Teresi will take time to focus on the shooting events that first began early Thanksgiving morning on S. Main St., leading to the death of one Buffalo man and injuring two others. Since then, four other shooting incidents have taken place in the area – the most recent happening this past Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Eighth and Prendergast Ave., resulting in one person being seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.
Teresi said that the shootings are not typical of what residents expect for Jamestown, adding that they have a right to be concerned.
“This is the number one priority for every aspect of city government, starting with our public safety operation, but continuing right on down through the team,” Teresi said. “Since the first moment that I received the call from the chief at 4 in the morning on the first shooting Thanksgiving morning, we have been in constant contact. The chief has done an outstanding job of pulling the team together. Our team at the Jamestown Police Department is all out with this, and we’re working collaboratively and getting outstanding cooperation from every level of law enforcement and public safety in the area.”
The mayor also said that while the shootings are obviously a major concern, he doesn’t think it’s an indication of a diminishing quality of life expectation for the city.
“I can understand the frustration. I can understand people that have grown up here and have grown accustomed to the wonderful, small community that we live in and their concern [that the quality of life is declining], but it’s not warranted,” Teresi said. “This is still a wonderful and safe community. These shootings are an aberration. There’s crime everywhere. I know that because I travel all over this state and all over this country meeting with leaders. But our overall crime rate is down. Our law enforcement is the best that your going to find in the business and I still say that there’s more that’s good and right about this community that whatever could possibly be wrong.”
The mayor also commented on the cost associated with the ongoing investigation and the increased patrols in the city, saying that while the cost of public safety may have seen an increase in recent weeks, its necessary and justified in order to work toward preventing these types of incidents from continuing.
During our conversation with the Mayor, we’ll also get his reaction to the finalized 2017 City Budget – which includes an additional $825,000 in projected state aid that was not initially put in his executive budget. And the mayor will talk about the city’s involvement in a statewide poverty reduction initiative.
Again our conversation with Mayor Teresi will be Thursday at 5 p.m. during WRFA’s Community Matters program. An encore of the program will also be broadcast on Sunday at noon. In addition to the mayor, we’ll also hear from Pat Morris from CODE, Inc. – who will discuss his organization’s effort to build the Jackson Spring apartments on North Main Street.