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Buffalo Place to expand Rangers

Buffalo Place plans to expand its Rangers program by as much as 50 percent next year to provide more security and escorts in response to the increase in hotel guests, tourists and other visitors to the city's core.

The nonprofit organization that runs the downtown business improvement district stretching from the waterfront to Goodell Street already has a contingent of eight Rangers on staff to assist individuals and businesses with safety and security concerns. The program was started more than two decades ago with an AmeriCorps grant, in response to concerns by Delaware North about the safety of many of its younger workers, who were in the office late at night because of the company's global operations.

Buffalo Place already added to the program last year, "and it became noticeable," said Board Chairman Keith Belanger. "Next year, we'll take it to another level."

In its new budget for 2017, the group allocated additional funds to hire as many as four more Rangers, enabling it to field as many as 12 at any one time, including for special events.

"We think it’s very important with all the hotels in downtown Buffalo that we have a full contingent of Rangers Monday through Sunday," said Executive Director Michael Schmand. "If you go from HarborCenter to Lafayette Square, with all the people visiting, it's good to have Rangers there and to have more operations folks there."

email: jepstein@buffnews.com

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