Large turnout expected for meeting on UPD Facebook Page

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A packed house is expected Tuesday night at Utica City Hall with people wanting to know why the Utica Police Department deactivated its Facebook page and if it's ever coming back.

Councilmembers Frank Vescera and Jim Zecca have written a resolution asking the city, more specifically the mayor, to lift the ban on the page.

All NEWSChannel 2 has been told is that the page was removed at the request of county and state officials who felt it cast Utica in a bad light, but those officials have not been named.

Vescera says the plusses of the page dramatically outweigh the negative, saying 47 cases have been solved as a direct result of the UPD Facebook Page.

According to the councilman, UPD's Facebook Page sixth in the nation for number of fans.

"Our page is something that's being looked at throughout the country as something to copy, something to gravitate to and something to be proud of," Vescera said. "To take this off because of some unsubstantiated questions, with no documentation, no statistics, I mean, if you have one or two people complaining, compared to 25,000 people who like it, I would certainly like to see that other than verbal assaults without documentation or statistics."

The mayor has not returned our calls for comment. Police Chief Mark Williams called saying the Mayor was deferring all calls on the matter to him. However, Chief Williams, who was in the presence of the mayor when he called, said he could not name which officials were putting pressure on the mayor's office to have the page taken down.

Chief Williams said he plans to be in attendance at Tuesday night's meeting.

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