Senator Schumer Demands More Officers

December 3, 2013 Updated Dec 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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December 3, 2013 Updated Dec 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW):

Peace Bridge congestion has caused a state leader to backlash at Custom and Border Protection officers (who he claims made counterproductive reductions to its staff). Senator Charles Schumer attributes the increase in traffic backups on the bridge to a loss in federal agents. Schumer plans to push for more officers, demanding the CBP officers locate more officials on the bridge.

The Border and Peace Bridge officials have reported some significant setbacks in CBP agents at Buffalo border crossings. As many as 60 officers have gotten cut from border patrol in the last 18-months. Schumer and bridge officials blame the cutbacks for the countless lane closures and increased wait times that drivers are forced to deal with every day. Schumer will call on the CBP this afternoon at the Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse, asking them for answers and to take immediate action to fix this growing problem.

He's looking for a faster turnover rate. Schumer believes if more officers tend to the Peace Bridge, officers will get through inspections a little faster and make progress with commercial traffic. Right now, he says it's unacceptable that the CBP doesn't have lanes fully staffed.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership President Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Oishei Foundation President Robert Gioia as well as other representatives from the local shipping and logistics industries joined Senator Schumer Monday afternoon. Current statistics show that the jobs provide a big boost to the local economy - nearly $2-million and 33 new jobs.