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Mayor Brown Announces Third Citywide Gun Buyback Program
Contact: Peter K. Cutler
“Over the past two years, we removed 1,601 illegal guns from our city streets through our coordinated gun buyback effort and we encourage city residents to come forward again, in a safe and confidential setting, to turn in guns that will be disposed of by the Buffalo Police Department,” said Mayor Brown. “When I launched this program in 2007, critics said that it would be ineffective and that we would only receive antique or small caliber weapons. Well, the results from the past two years have proved that the critics were wrong, law abiding city residents stepped up and very lethal guns were removed from our city streets.”
According to the City Comptroller’s office, for the past two gun buyback efforts a total of 1,601 guns were turned in by city residents, who, in turn, received a total of $75,515 through JPMorgan Chase cash cards distributed at each drop-off location.
This initiative is one of several anti-crime measures being implemented throughout the city, including the Buffalo Police Department’s Mobile Response Unit, which was launched in January 2008 and the installation of a city wide surveillance camera network. There are 70 cameras now active in the city system, with an additional 54 being added this summer in Phase II of the program.
In 2005, the Buffalo Police Department removed 923 illegal guns from city streets. Since then the Department has removed 1,061 in 2006, 1,801 in 2007, 1,597 in 2008 and 494 through June 30, 2009.
"I'm confident that the last two Gun Buybacks have played a role in reducing the overall crime rate in the City of Buffalo,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson. “I want to thank the citizens of this great city for helping to remove illegal guns off of our streets and out of our homes. And I want to stress again, that getting just one illegal gun out of harm’s way could help save a life in the future"
Comptroller Andy SanFilippo said the Gun Buyback program is another way to combat crime and he supports the initiative wholeheartedly. “We must use all the means at our disposal to rid our city of dangerous weapons and make our community as safe as possible,” said the Comptroller. “And the Gun Buyback program is an important part of that effort.”
Comptroller SanFilippo has once again assigned two of his deputies, Rick Calipari and Darryl McPherson, to assist in the financial and auditing sides of the gun buyback program to make sure all the guns and money are accounted for and cash cards distributed in the no-questions-asked gun buyback effort. The comptroller also cited the three-year commitment of JP Morgan Chase to the program, supplying the all-important cash cards free of charge.
The goals for this program are:
• To provide safer neighborhoods throughout the City of Buffalo.
“With the previous two gun buyback efforts, we accomplished our goal: to provide our residents with the opportunity to get these guns out of their homes, out of harm’s way and into a safe and secure location,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank all of the conscientious city residents who stepped forward to turn in these very lethal and potentially dangerous illegal guns and look forward to the same response this year.”
To help promote the August 15th Gun Buyback effort, Lamar Outdoor Advertising has generously provided creative design support along with outdoor advertising locations around the city to post billboards that highlight the program
“On behalf of Lamar Outdoor Advertising, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to again assist the City of Buffalo by donating billboard space to create awareness for the 2009 Gun Buyback program,” said Richard Dvorak, Vice President and General Manager of Lamar Outdoor Advertising. “We are hopeful that this campaign will again be a success for the City of Buffalo and that it will help make our streets safer.”
Also, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has graciously agreed to post the City Of Buffalo’s Gun Buyback advertisement posters (the same as the Lamar Outdoor Advertising billboards) inside bus shelters based on availability of space.
Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, “Once again we are pleased to lend our support to Mayor Brown and this vital community project. Using Metro shelter signs throughout our system will help increase awareness of the program, helping to rid Buffalo of as many illegal guns as possible.”
The overall effort is being financed by asset forfeiture funds that have been acquired by the city through the seizure of monies from illegal drug and other criminal activities in Buffalo.
On Saturday, August 15, 2009, the City of Buffalo’s Gun Buyback will occur at the following locations: Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway; Prince of Peace Christian Church, 190 Albany Street; Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida, 62 Virginia Street; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 450 Abbott Road; True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 East Ferry Street; St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell Street; and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Parish Hall, 256 Riverside Avenue.
Pre-paid bank cash cards will be provided, no questions asked, in the following denominations:
$10.00 Non-working or antique guns (including BB guns and pellet guns)
$100.00 Assault Weapons (e.g., Uzi’s, AK-47s)
“By conducting this third Gun Buyback program, I know that this single effort will not eliminate illegal guns from the streets of Buffalo, but I also know that it will provide residents with an opportunity to turn in guns that they would like to remove from their homes,” said Mayor Brown. “This is just one of several tactics my Administration will continue to employ to make our city safe for all residents.”
Through the Buffalo Police Department’s enforcement of Mayor Brown’s Zero Tolerance anti-crime agenda, they have reduced overall crime in the city by approximately 7.2% over the past 3 ½ years, reduced violent crime by 6% in and reduced homicides by 32%.
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios