The Rye Police Department’s anonymous crime tip program that was established by the public safety commissioner last July is steadily picking up steam as police continue to successfully utilize it to address the city’s drug and alcohol troubles.
According to Public Safety Commissioner Michael Corcoran, the program was used in one of the Police Department’s latest busts on April 29 at 6 Barberry Lane, at the residence of Ron Goldstein and Joan Babchak, where approximately 30 under-aged individuals were observed drinking alcohol in and outside the private home.
“The anonymous tip line has been really successful since last summer and has yielded some fruitful information in some of our ongoing investigations, including this one,” Corcoran said.
During the investigation, several minors were detained and identified, including an unnamed 17-year-old male that was observed possessing an open container of beer.
The public safety commissioner said the Police Department hasn’t handed out any charges in that investigation as of yet, but it expects to issue charges to a number of individuals that allegedly violated New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control laws, which prohibits the sale of alcohol to minors.
Corcoran, who joined Rye to serve as the city’s police commissioner in the beginning of 2016 from the West Orange Police Department, added that with the help of a number of other anonymous tips submitted through the department’s tip line, city police are involved in several ongoing narcotic and alcohol-related investigations. He couldn’t elaborate on how many investigations were ongoing or detail how many individuals have been arrested as a result of the program, but said it’s ultimately aiding the department in its battle against drug and alcohol abuse.
The Police Department’s bust at Barberry Lane was followed up with yet another incident on May 5 where officers arrived at 87 Hix Ave., and observed approximately 20 underage individuals drinking beer.
In that incident, the homeowner’s 18-year-old son, James Chabot, was issued an ABC violation for Possession of Alcohol under 21 with intent to consume. Chabot’s mother, the homeowner, has not been issued any charges, as of press time.
The anonymous tip program was established after a growing concern over a drug surge in the city.
Since 2014, six former Rye High School students have died of drug and alcohol related causes.
The program’s success marks a turnaround from the previous police administration, which was not keen on accepting anonymous tips, according to City Manager Marcus Serrano.
The department allows residents to send tips multiple ways, including texting, emailing and via a link on the department’s website or Facebook page, to which all tips are relayed through a third-party provider, Citizen Observer.
Corcoran said the program comes in addition to a “zero tolerance” approach the Police Department has taken since he’s been in command. “We’re going to follow up on all of our leads and actively pursue any individual that contributes to narcotics and underage drinking,” he said, explaining that the department will look at all avenues for potential charges in its ongoing investigations. “That’s the way it has to play out.”
Corcoran, who oversees operations for both the city’s Police and Fire departments, was named the public safety commissioner in January.