© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Thompson Seeks Federal Help to Battle Crime

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – It has been another summer of increased violence in Buffalo's inner-city. But one lawmaker says he wants the federal government to step in and offer assistance in dealing with violent crime.

The hot summer months usually mean an increase in crime. And with the recent wave of record high temperatures, each day seems to generate a number of shootings and other violence in parts of the city. Masten District Council Member Antoine Thompson says it has been an extremely difficult summer. He says last week alone there were five homicides. While Thompson says the Buffalo Police Department has stepped up efforts to fight crime, a higher level of assistance is still needed.

"I believe we need serious federal intervention to address this major crime problem," Thompson said. "I think the FBI, DEA and ATF need to play a more aggressive role."

Thompson says over this next week he will be calling for a meeting with federal officials. He says he believes it is the only way to target the drug gangs and guns that are spurring much of the city violence.

"Because the only way we are really going to bust up more of these drug gangs and deal with a lot of the shooting is getting the ATF, DEA and FBI and Secret Service involved to deal with the drug money and other crimes," Thompson said. "We have some very serious things going on in Buffalo."

Thompson is also calling on the Buffalo Police Department to install surveillance cameras in some of the high crime spots and add foot patrols. But with police manpower issues and the city's tight revenue controls it might not be an option. Still, Thompson says he is planning to roll out a proposal that calls on the Police Commissioner and Masiello Administration to establish a mobile police unit. Thompson says he believes public pressure will help citizens take back the streets.

On Friday, Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter announced that the City of Buffalo was awarded more than $200,000 to help with crime fighting. The funds will be used for two programs that deal with juvenile delinquency prevention and the purchase of portable radios, bullet proof vests and to upgrade computers.