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Council Critical of Police Cuts, Vows to Restore Jobs

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Proposed job cuts in the Buffalo Police Department were reviewed Monday at a Common Council budget hearing. Mayor Anthony Masiello's proposed budget calls for the layoff of 93 police officers and the elimination of another 54 vacant positions.

Police Commissioner Rocco Diina testified at the hearing that the cuts are necessary in light of the city's fiscal crisis. Other police officials said the department would have to reassess various shifts, assigning officers from one shift to another time when they're needed more.

Several Council members said the layoff of police officers is unacceptable to them. Monday's Buffalo News reported the Council is searching for money elsewhere in the spending plan to transfer to the police department to minimize the layoffs.

Council President James Pitts is calling on the state Legislature to approve the city's request for an early-retirement plan for city police officers.