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Friday, July 18, 2014

Editor's note: This is the first part in a two-part series about "Lockport Anonymous." Find the second part here.

A new Facebook page that popped up last week aims to inform the greater Lockport community about crime in the area, the criminals who commit them, and the homes they live in.

Lockport Anonymous began earlier this month as part of an effort to take the city back from the onslaught of recent crime. The page has an interesting angle and a compelling goal.

The organizer of the page agreed to answer a series of questions — anonymously, of course. The questions and their answers follow.
  • QUESTION: Tell us a little about this new Facebook page
  • ANSWER: It's an anonymous way for people to get involved in "fighting back" against the crime in the city.  It puts things in perspective for people. For example,  you may see a name in the paper saying someone was arrested for dealing drugs but when we show a photo of their house people think "oh my god, I drive by there everyday"
  • Q: When did you create it?
  • A: It was created in early July
  • Q: What gave you the idea to do so?
  • A: The article on East Niagara Post on 7/9 saying the city needs a Bat Signal
  • Q: What are your goals and objectives?
  • A: To make the people aware of their surroundings.  To get people talking, and caring, about our city. 
  • Q: What kind of information would you like people to submit?
  • A: If you have a tip concerning drug users,  please include their full name,  possible address,  and any links or photos you have
  • Q: Why is anonymity necessary?
  • A: A lot of these individuals are armed. It seems a lot of people get upset with the police for not doing their job. That's definitely not the case. They are understaffed and overworked. This is a safe way for the community to communicate 
  • Q: We see you use a lot of information from the Sheriff's app for getting accurate details, how do you verify other tips you get from the community for accuracy?
  • A: Google is a wonderful thing. 
  • Q: Do you have - or plan on creating - a relationship with LPD/NCSO? 
  • A: This is still new but I will be forwarding tips to the Lockport Police in the future. Some of the email tips I get are very vague, perhaps the professionals can dissect them better than we can.
  • Q: Would you say this is what a neighborhood crime watch group looks like in 2014?
  • A: Absolutely.  
  • Q: What are some of the obstacles you've so far faced in running the page?
  • A: Friends and family members of the accused are passionate in the defense of the criminals. We are empathetic to there cause but we are not slandering individuals, we are simply telling a story about an arrest or showing photos of drug use. It's the criminals that are slandering our beautiful city with their actions
  • Q: What kind of feedback have you received so far from the community?
  • A: 47 "thank you" emails this week alone. People seem optimistic about Lockport and it's future. 
  • Q: What kind of community involvement would you like to get with this page?
  • A: An educational experience as opposed to an aggressive bashing campaign.  There is crime in the city, I want the community to not feel helpless anymore
  • Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, personally? 
  • A: I have a family and I care. I have lived here many, many years and I want to live here many more
  • Q: Are you the Bat Man?
  • A: Unless they sell bat suits to fit a four-foot-nine stature, then no.

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