A local resident pressed Jamestown City Council and city officials to address safety issues regarding the Cherry Street car park during a recent work session.
After parking at the Cherry Street Garage, located at 15 W. Fifth St., for about 11 years, the townsman explained that the garage has seen an increase in security issues in recent months.
“There were a lot of problems there” the man said. “The elevator has been out of order for nine months; I had to break an assault; I was threatened; An object was thrown at me from the fourth floor. I don’t feel safe walking in the parking lot, night or day.
The resident explained that people seem “hang out” parking on a “regularly,” causing him daily worries for his safety and the safety of his car. He told the council that he had recently been threatened by a stranger who claimed he was stalking him.
In another incident, he recalled observing an assault on the side of the parking lot.
“About a month ago there was an assault on the other side of the garage where two teenagers beat up a black man,” he said. “I intervened, they got away and reported it to the Jamestown police. It’s a regular occurrence that happens, in addition to damaging your car or starting fires.
After explaining the situation during the city council business session, the resident asked city officials what steps they would take to address both the security issues and the parking garage elevator.
Jeffrey Lehman, Director of Public Works, explained that the Cherry Street parking garage elevator is currently under construction and should be operational in the near future.
“We have installed a new elevator, it should be done in a few weeks”, he said.
City Council Speaker Tony Dolce, Ward II, asked the resident if there was a particular time of day or night when he noticed the incidents happening
The resident explained that most public safety incidents happened after 7 or 8 p.m., after the parking attendant had left the parking garage. He suggested the City install security cameras and restrict access to the parking garage elevator to provide a higher level of security for the location.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist assured the resident that his concerns would be taken into account and explained that the parking garage had recently undergone changes.
“I will follow them” Sundquist said. “There have also been changes with the parking company. The Chief of Police and I will discuss some of these other incidents.
Councilman Randy Daversa, R-At Large, added that he personally witnessed police patrolling the area at night.
“I took a ride last week, and after seven o’clock in the evening, we do two passes through this ramp,” he said. “I think the police know about it.”
Police Chief Timothy Jackson told city council the police department is aware of the damage, vandalism and public safety issues at the parking lot. He said the department will assign additional patrols to the parking lot ramps to alleviate public safety concerns. He also encouraged the public to contact the police immediately when witnessing the types of incidents described at the meeting.