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Police Agencies Cooperate to Seize Drugs and Weapons in Suburbs

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Drug raids aren't just conducted in cities. In recent weeks, a new initiative by Erie County, border patrol and local police agencies has seized dozens of weapons and drugs in suburban communities.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Drug busts and gun raids in our inner cities have become all too common. But the multi-police agency crack-downs are showing up in some formerly quiet suburban neighborhoods.

Recently, warrantless searches on probationers netted drug and weapons seizures and arrests in Depew and Tonawanda. Forty weapons were seized, including a loaded twelve gauge shotgun, machettes and a cross bow. Central Police Services Commissioner Peter Vito said they are seeing somewhat of a trend in the movement of convicted felons into the suburbs.

He said tracking suspicious probationers, where ever they go, can be helpful in preventing more serious crimes. Violent crime has spiked over the last year in some suburban communities such as Amherst and Tonawanda. There have been four homicides in Tonawanda since last December. Some were drug related.

According to officials, a fatal shooting this summer on Henderson Avenue, a quiet residential street, resulted from a bad heroin deal. Tonawanda Police Chief Anthony Polombo said it was an individual drug deal that went bad. He said they have managed to prevent wider spread gang-related drug crime. Polombo said the new initiative gives them better information about criminal activity happening in surrounding communities - and helps them keep it out.

He said, so far, the reaction from residents to the increased police activity has been very positive.

The collaborative program between agencies is expected to continue. Probationers are subject to warrantless searches anytime police suspect a violation.