NIAGARA FALLS – Reacting to the wave of violence against police, the Niagara Falls Police Department has followed the lead of its Buffalo counterparts by returning to a policy of two officers in each patrol car.
For Niagara Falls, the move last week also followed threats to local law enforcement, which later were determined to be not credible.
Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto said it was his decision to go to two-officer patrol cars, and the policy was to have been revisited Monday. But Sunday’s shooting deaths of three officers in Baton Rouge, La., has led the department to continue with the policy.
“It’s our job as police administration to keep our officers as safe as they can be and we will continue in two-man cars until it goes back to being just the normal dangerous job it always was,” DalPorto said.
On July 8, social media threats to the Buffalo Police Department prompted them to order officers to patrol in pairs, carry their weapons when off duty and be aware of their surroundings.
A week later, a Buffalo gang member identified as Arthur Jordan, 23, was in police custody. Police said they found a loaded .380-caliber handgun on the suspect. Jordan, authorities said, left the following message on Facebook: “Let’s start killin’ police. Let’s see how dey like it.”
Jordan spoke to investigators and told them of his desire to appear on national TV and how he saw killing police as a way to accomplish his goal, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.
The shootings of police officers followed the deaths of two African-Americans at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
DalPorto said it won’t cost the city more to team up the officers. However, he added, half the number of patrol cars will be on the road and response times will be lowered.
“Before the events of three weeks ago and the threats to officers, there were calls that one officer could handle, which was better for us. More officers were able to be actively patrolling,” said DalPorto, who added that emergency calls will not be impacted by the move but non-emergency calls will be.
“Officer safety has to be paramount now with the threat that law enforcement is under,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation, but I have to keep those officers as safe as I can.”