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BOARD MEMBERS LAUD POLICE FORCE, VOTE UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST REGIONAL AGENCY

The Tonawanda Town Board has gone on record against Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra's proposal for a regional law enforcement agency.

The board voted unanimously at Monday night's meeting, when town officials praised the work of the town's police force and emphasized its importance.

"This board stands united behind this Police Department," Councilman Joseph M. Shiah said.

Police Chief Samuel M. Palmiere said the Town Board's resolution "speaks volumes of the support of police and its high priority." He added that a regional police department would be a "disservice to the community and business owners."

Monday's action united the town with other municipalities that also have voiced opposition to the proposal Giambra put forth at last week's Kenmore Village Board meeting.

Supervisor Ronald H. Moline said the resolution the Town Board adopted Monday was not instigated by the town's police officials but by elected officials who wanted to reaffirm their commitment to the department.

Councilman John J. Flynn said he and other taxpayers were willing to pay for the services provided by the department. "That cost is worth it," he said.

Councilman Daniel H. Rider added that the department provides many educational programs for the community, such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the Citizen Police Academy and Neighborhood Watch.

Although the elected officials rejected Giambra's idea, they acknowledged the value of the county's Central Police Services Department and said cooperating with the departments of other municipalities was not out of the question.

Amherst, Cheektowaga and Lancaster also have adopted resolutions against Giambra's proposal.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com

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