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City, Police Union Agree on Historic Contract

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Mayor Masiello says a deal reached with the leader of the Buffalo police union to begin implementing one-man police patrol cars is "historic." Masiello says it is an agreement in principle.

But it appears from Thursday's announcement that police merger talks between the city and Erie County could be on hold.

"The city is not going to be pursuing it (a merger) as we speak," said Robert Meegan, president of the Police Benevolent Association. "Down the road, hopefully this department will become self-sufficient and will continue on as the Buffalo Police Department for the next 150 years."

But Masiello would not confirm that merger talks are off the table. County Executive Joel Giambra is in Albany and County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan is also out of town, unavailable for comment.

The one-officer patrol car agreement would include retroactive pay raises for police officers dating back to July of 2000.

Once a deal is finalized, the Mayor says implementing one-officer cars would be phased in over the next three months and is expected to save the city more than $14 million a year.