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Could police foot patrols become a downtown routine?


As downtown Buffalo enjoys a spike in development activity, there’s talk of launching a new public safety offensive. The ultimate goal: to put police officers on foot patrol from Canalside all the way to Tupper Street at the edge of the Theater District.

B-District Police Chief Brian Patterson concedes that the concept is more of a long-term vision at this juncture.

“It would be back to the old-school style of policing where officers are walking, checking in on businesses, maintaining order,” Patterson told WBFO.

The chief recently urged downtown business leaders to let the Common Council know they would support comprehensive  police foot patrols.

There’s also a new effort to reduce panhandling in and around the central business district. Police have been building relationships with human services agencies to try to provide help to homeless individuals and others in need.

“This is a new dynamic,” Patterson said. “It’s called outreach services. We’re excited about it.”

Patterson said the aim is to provide a long-term solution by working with homeless advocates and other service-providers to help place individuals in programs.