Cracking Down on Crime

By Erika Mahoney

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After a spike in crime rates, Binghamton City Council and Chief Police Joseph Zikuski are working on ways to crack down.

Zikuski said October was a particularly bad month for crime, with an average of three theft-related crimes per day, or 61 burglaries and 42 car break-ins.

In an effort to be proactive, inside of reactive, Binghamton City Council invited Zikuski to their regular meeting to discuss ways to make residents feel safer.

Council Member Bill Berg suggested establishing their own security force that would work under the chief but would be more affordable to the city. He said this is something other cities have done, all in an effort to put more eyes on the streets.

"Chief tells us the crime is increasing... the burglaries, the break-ins," said Berg. "It would be nice to say we could add police force, but
financially we can't do that, so we need to look at other options."

"I'm willing to look at it, and then I'm going to have to talk with my legal adviser, who is Ken Frank, the city attorney," said Zikuski.

Zikuski said he is willing to look at anything for the safety of residents.

But he also said residents have a responsibility too. With the holiday season approaching, he said it is necessary to keep valuables in the trunk, not in sight.

He said it is not unusual for people to break in for $5 or less.