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Gipson says noise law violators are cited
Copyright 2007 The Buffalo News
Buffalo's top law enforcer disputed claims Wednesday that police aren't doing enough to crack down on excessive noise and other neighborhood disturbances.
Officers have cited more people for noise law violations than in several prior years, Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson told the city's accountability panel.
But the Police Department did not provide data to back up the contention, and Mayor Byron W. Brown ordered officials to give the CitiStat panel regular updates on how many summonses officers issue for quality-of-life offenses.
Brown said it's good to hear that enforcement efforts have been intensified.
"But we have not done a good enough job of communicating that to the public," the mayor told his police commissioner.
In fact, the Common Council doesn't think the Police Department has done a good enough job keeping lawmakers appraised of efforts to curb neighborhood nuisances. The Council on Tuesday called for monthly reports that show how many summonses officers write for quality-of-life violations. Some neighborhoods have experienced noise problems at unprecedented levels, Council President David A. Franczyk said.
"It appears as if police are doing little or nothing about this appalling and illegal audio assault on city residents," he wrote in his resolution.
Booming car stereos, rowdy house parties and people who rig speakers near windows so they can blare music into their yards have become intolerable, some lawmakers and block leaders said this week.
Gipson predicted the number of complaints would decrease as the beefed-up enforcement effort continues.
Deputy Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said one patrol car in each of the five police districts has been assigned to deal with quality-of-life complaints. Each district will also have a car assigned to enforce Buffalo's youth curfew.
The Police Department released updated crime figures Wednesday. Derenda said violent crime plummeted 33 percent in April when compared with the same month a year ago. It's down 26 percent for the year. Police officials credit what they call a multipronged anti-crime offensive that includes a Mobile Response Unit and a flood of narcotics warrants.
Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said the department has been launching an "almost daily assault on drug dealers."
© 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