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Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President: Police need rifles on patrol

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 12:46:38-04

Following attacks on officers across the country, safety measures have been put in place for Buffalo Police, but the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association says those changes aren't enough.

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Commissioner Daniel Derenda ordered officers ride in two-person teams while on patrol following the ambush in Dallas that killed five officers. He also encouraged officers to not wear any clothing identifying them as law enforcement and to carry off-duty weapons.

During a press conference endorsing John Flynn for Erie County District Attorney, PBA President Kevin Kennedy said, "Officers are a target every single day. It's on the front of their chest and on the back of their bulletproof vests." 

Kennedy says with officers being targeted for their jobs, more changes need to be made than just pairing officers together. He says additional training to diffuse hostile situations is necessary, as are better counseling resources for officers to deal with the stresses of their jobs. 

 

Kennedy wants one major change for officers on the job, "I also think that patrol rifles should be instituted across the country. I know it's a touchy subject but as you've seen with incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge, patrol officers encountered persons with higher fire power than they had at their hip."

Both Dallas and Baton Rouge shooters were armed with high-powered rifles.

When asked about police-community relationships in Buffalo in comparison to Baton Rouge, Kennedy said the relationship is strong, "Having met every single member that's been on this job in my career and on the job right now, there are no racial animus felt by any officer. We're out here to do a job, that's it. It doesn't matter where you're from, what your socioeconomic background is or what the color of your skin is."