Feeling Safe In The City?

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM EST

Crime is up in Binghamton according to this year's police report.

But you'd never know it... talking to Binghamton business owners.

As Action News Reporter, Leigh Dana, tells us people are still feeling safe in their community.

The cash register is ringing in at Dirienzo's Brothers Bakery.

Anthony Dirienzo is a third generation owner of the store

Which has been located next to NYSEG {ni-seg} Stadium.

He says crime in the area has improved over the past 35 years.

"It used to be undesirable - but now its really a nice neighborhood," said Anthony Direnzo of Direnzo's Brothers Bakery.

According to Binghamton's 2009 annual police report

Crime climbed 15 percent

Mostly due to property crimes.

"I'm amazed, I'm coming from California, and I don't see graffiti, garbage... I don't see a lot of people hanging out on the streets and curbs like I did there," said Elaine Lockewood of Binghamton.

And as the economy worsens, crime rates tend to go up. But the good news is the crime rate in Binghamton is substantially lower than other New York cities such as Schenectady, Utica, Troy and Niagra Falls.
"Crime will always be there. When there's good, there's bad," said Direnzo.

Police Chief Joe Zikuskis says,"We're doing everything possible to protect the redisents and maintain our reputation as a safe city. While upstate cities now face challenging times, our department is working closely to implement cost effective reforms, enforce our laws and serve our citizens with integrity."

Anthony says the P.D. Is doing a good job keeping the streets clean.

But he also says sometimes tough times calls for tough decisions.
"There's a lot of people in and out and sometimes they do things that isn't in their character, but they do what they have to do," said Direnzo.

Anthony stays positive though. He says it could always be worse.

According to the Police Report Binghamton's violent crime rate was about 80 percent lower than several other New York cities.

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