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Erie County Legislature approves sheriff's office plan to establish Behavioral Threat Assessment Team

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 14:15:12-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Legislature has approved the Erie County Sheriff's plan to establish a Behavioral Threat Assessment Team.

The sheriff's office announced the plan on June 9 following the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue. The mission of the team, according to the sheriff's office, is to form a team with diverse expertise and access to resources dedicated to identifying and closing threat gaps in Buffalo and Erie County.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia released the following statement in response to the legislature approving the plan:

"Today, the Erie County Legislature approved my office’s plan to establish a threat assessment team following the horrific mass murder that occurred in Buffalo on May 14, 2022. I want to thank my partners in government for working with my team to find ways to bring this critical public safety initiative to fruition.

Thanks to the collective efforts of County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Chairwoman April Baskin, Majority Leader Timothy Meyers, and Minority Leader Joseph Lorigo, the Erie County government worked to establish the ECSO Behavioral Threat Assessment Team with the goal of preventing future tragedies.

I want to thank Public Safety Committee Chairman Howard Johnson and committee members John Gilmour, Frank Todaro, and Chris Greene for their support throughout the committee process.

Finally, I want to thank Legislators Bargnesi, Chimera, and Mills for their support for this countywide team.

I will begin the candidate selection process immediately, and following the appointment of the team members, training will begin in earnest. As the Detectives begin their federally sponsored investigative training, we will continue to educate and recruit community stakeholders.

Today was an important step towards keeping Erie County safe, but it was just the first step."
- Sheriff Garcia