Neighborhood Watch meeting to focus on nuisance abatement

The last Neighborhood Watch meeting was held Nov. 10 at Oswego City Library.

Approximately two dozen people attended, including a newly elected councilors of the first and sixth wards, Councilors Enwright and VanBuren.

The speakers were Sergeant Craig Bateman and Connie Cosemento, former first ward councilor. The topic of the evening was the nuisance abatement law and the process of enforcement. 

Bateman concentrated on the enforcement and challenges to the police department. Bateman explained that complaints regarding a property result in a response from the police. If an infraction is witnessed , an arrest can be made. If so, points are assigned to the property permanently.

Once 12 points are accumulated, a hearing is set up that could result in a number of consequences from fines to incarceration or even closure of the property.

Although the court has assessed a number of substantial fines, at this time no property has been closed. However, there is more than one property that is subject for court consideration at this time.

Bateman explained the process of dealing with each incident.

“It is not as simple as A-B-C,” Bateman said. “There are a lot of hoops to jump through.” “The important thing is to report what you observe. The bottom line is to improve the quality of life for the neighbors.”

Bateman reviewed other code violations such as parking, number of adults living at the property and garbage.

He reminded those present that it is important to report violations.

Cosemento reviewed the actual nuisance abatement law of which the intent is to get compliance to improve the quality of life.

Many properties have no violations or perhaps a single violation. The growing concern is multiple violations, which become a nuisance.

Therefore, the original nuisance abatement code has been “tweaked” many times in the last few years to deal with the most common complaints, which are garbage, parking, loud parties (including buses), and noise.

Cosemento also reminded those present that copies of arrests are sent to SUNY Oswego where they are dealt with by the appropriate department. Councilors can report other known unacceptable behavior as well for same consideration and is backed by the City-SUNY Task Force.

Cosemento noted that landlords need to become more involved with their properties. The Neighborhood Watch program encourages each observer to contact their councilor; Betty Gray, co-coordinator of Neighborhood Watch at 342-9388; or 342-8131 for the drug/criminal tip line.

The Neighborhood Watch program is contemplating its next meeting for April 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oswego City Library in the downstairs community room.

There will be representatives from the Quality of Life Committee to share the progress of their work as well as a member of the police department.

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