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Council offers show of support for city police

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

With a large group of police officers sitting in the Common Council Chambers, council members praised the work the cops do and some warned of the risks of putting limits on their actions. "They willingly say goodbye to their families each day, knowing it may be for the last time to face the evils of the world on our behalf, said councilmember Christopher Scanlon, defending police at a time when the actions of some are under a bright light.

There are increasing calls across the nation for more controls over the behavior of officers on duty and for body cameras to record what goes on.

For the Council session, all of the members were wearing blue ribbons as a show of support for police. Relations between police and community are touchy at the moment, with a series of incidents around the country and the murders of two officers in Brooklyn over the weekend.

Councilmember Joe Golombek says his district needs its police.

"I support the Buffalo police because at times, there is only a thin blue line between law and order and chaos in the City of Buffalo in some of our neighborhoods. I had some horrible problems this summer on Tonawanda Street, parts of Riverside, the West Side, part of the North District. I've had drive-by shootings. I've had two murders. I have had gang fights. I have had people stabbed," Golombek said.

Golombek says the problem isn't the police who are doing their jobs but judges who put individuals right back on the street after arrest.

The council session included a prayer for the two officers killed last weekend in New York City.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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