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Acting Erie County DA announces community outreach initiative

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County's acting district attorney is hoping to foster improved communication and trust by getting his office more actively involved in community dialogue.

Michael Flaherty announced the new initiative Wednesday at the Delevan-Grider Community Center, joined by numerous elected and community leaders. He said the initiative will include staff members participating in block club and neighborhood association meetings, appearing at police-sponsored functions and reaching out at other community events.

Flaherty stated that the outreach will work with both people at risk of becoming crime victims and even those at risk of turning to crime.

"Stopping crime before it happens is far more effective than prosecuting criminals after the fact," he said.

The outreach will also give Flaherty's staff opportunities to explain their work and how the court process works for crime victims. 

The crime-fighting efforts that will be discussed include those to combat drugs and addiction.

"Even though we see a renaissance in the City of Buffalo, there are people out there that are still hurting," said State Assemblyman Michael Kearns, one of the elected officials on hand. "As someone who also represents three suburban communities, we're seeing the opiate addiction, something that needs to be addressed."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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