Senator Chuck Schumer wants to make the streets in the City of Niagara Falls a little safer. YNN's Antoinette DelBel explains his plan to crack down on crime and violence.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — As a mother of four, Niagara Falls resident Dana Alexander said she does her best to keep her children safe in a city plagued with crime.
"I try to keep my kids with me as much as possible," said Alexander.
She said she tries to avoid certain neighborhoods.
"I try to stay away from 19th Street, because there's a lot of activity over there, you know, drugs and all the other stuff, and just other places I know has a lot of things going on that my children don't need to be around," she said.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer made a stop in the city Tuesday to talk about his plan to make the streets safer.
"I have successfully petitioned the Department of Justice to bring a specialized crime task force to the City of Niagara Falls," said Schumer.
With the help of a federal grant, over the next several months, the crime task force will work with police and community leaders to investigate theft and violence in specific trouble spots and find ways to solve those problems.
"While it won't be a silver bullet, it's going to put a lot of heat on a lot of criminals," said Schumer.
Over the past five years, officials said Niagara Falls has faced a consistently high crime rate; 17,000 reported, with a majority revolving around property theft and burglary, and those numbers continue to rise.
"Better deployment of manpower is the most efficient way to go right now," said Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John Chella.
Niagara Falls will be one of eight cities in the entire country to have this task force, and it'll something that won't cost the city one cent.
"We have to find ways of working smarter and working cheaper, and this is an excellent example of that," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Schumer said the program is a win-win for the city. It will bring crime numbers down and help attract new tourism and businesses.
As for residents like Alexander, she said she has faith in the program.
She said, "Hopefully, it'll work and things will get better."