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City of Buffalo interested in moving police, fire into Dillon Courthouse

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The federal government no longer uses the Michael J. Dillon Memorial Courthouse and is looking for someone to take possession of the building. The City of Buffalo is interested in the property and has a plan for what to do with it.

Mayor Byron Brown confirmed that the City of Buffalo has submitted a proposal to the federal government to acquire the former courthouse on Niagara Square and convert it into a new headquarters for both the police and fire departments.

"We think by having them together, we will have economies of scale," Brown said. "We'll be able to share our brain power and intellectual information.  It will make the operation of police and fire actually, we think, more efficient and more effective."

Buffalo Fire Headquarters is located two blocks west of City Hall at 195 Court Street, while Buffalo Police Headquarters is located a few blocks away at the corner of Franklin and Church Streets. The city, Brown says, is looking to "reduce its footprint" of municipal buildings. Among the options under consideration is selling those buildings, though Brown noted that no plans are in place yet. 

The mayor also did not disclose a timeline for a possible decision, though the Buffalo News reported Thursday that federal officials may make a decision on the city's proposal by this summer.

Previous ideas for the former Dillon Courthouse include moving the University at Buffalo's Law School into the building. That idea was pushed last October by State Senator Marc Panepinto but the university rejected the idea.

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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