Police: Massena Sees Drug-Related Turf Wars, Violence
Ask Massena Mayor Jim Hidy how he feels about the amount of criminal activity that has been escalating in the community and he'll probably tell you what he told us - one way or the other it has to stop.
"We're going to do everything necessary to get these people off the streets," said Hidy.
Wednesday's seven-hour standoff which followed an shooting incident earlier in the day is the latest in a string of serious and escalating violent crimes occurring in the community.
Police say those crimes are usually drug-related.
Law enforcement officials say they aren't sure what attracts the criminal element to Massena neighborhoods.
But they have their theories.
"We blame this on transplants, but if you look at it closely, there are some local people that are intertwined in all this. In many of these cases, it's younger girls, 19, 20, 21 year old girls that are connecting with these guys in some manner," said Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier.
Another factor is that Massena and other north country communities are becoming a battleground for turf wars among drug dealers who are relocating to set up drug havens.
"It's clear that we have some turf wars that are going on. We have people that are interconnected in the drug issues that are going on in this community that are battling each other for one reason or another and it's very concerning," said Currier.
Massena police will soon be getting an unmarked Humvee equipped with high-tech surveillance equipment that will be used to assist in identifying people buying or selling drugs in local neighborhoods.
Local officials say reclaiming neighborhoods from crime continues to be a top priority.