© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Buffalo City Hall hiring Omar Mateen's security company

Buffalo's City Hall
File photo
Buffalo's City Hall

The mass murderer in Orlando was a private security guard for the same company being hired to provide security in Buffalo City Hall.

Upon the secret recommendations from federal Homeland Security, Buffalo is tightening security in City Hall, from metal detectors to armed private security and more than a hundred surveillance cameras. The plan is to hire G4S, employer of Omar Mateen in the St. Lucie County court system, and Mayor Brown said in a written statement there the administration is moving forward with the hiring.

Fillmore District Councilmember David Franczyk voted against the deal and is cautious about G4S.

"He worked for the same security company that I voted against, although not for the same reason, obviously. No one knew. But, he worked for the same security company we're paying $650,000 for providing security for City Hall," Franczyk cautioned.

"So, one of the questions that I'm going to have is, 'Are these people properly vetted? Is there a thorough background check?'"

In his statement, the mayor said there would be plenty of screening of the armed guards and city police would conduct background checks on the people sent to be City Hall security officers.

Francyzk has more questions.

"This individual is able to purchase these weapons and pass the background check," he asked. "Are all these people given proper psychological tests? Are they given proper deep background tests before they are going to be working here in City Hall?"

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.