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CITY GETS $1.53 MILLION TO FIGHT CRIME

The Buffalo Police Department plans to buy 10 new police cars, refurbish its training academy and put new computers into some of its unmarked cars and offices thanks to a $1.53 million federal grant to the city that was announced Friday.

Crime prevention programs also would receive funding under the grant, which is the second the city has received under the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program.

In total, the Police Department will receive $830,000, while the city Department of Community Development will get $622,149 for various anti-crime programs in the neighborhoods.

The city's spending plan for the grant must be approved by the Common Council, and the city must contribute $169,625 in matching funds to receive the grant.

The city plans to spend the federal money on police training and equipment rather than personnel because its current facilities and equipment are out of date, Mayor Masiello said.

"We're so far behind in equipment and technology," the mayor said. "The Police Department was in the dark ages when we came into office. The kind of equipment you can get today is an added weapon against crime."

About $250,000 will go to purchase 10 new marked police cars, to end a shortage that has resulted from an increase in police manpower on the streets after more police office work was turned over to civilians.

Another $250,000 will be used to refurbish the police academy, dividing its current facility into three or four smaller training rooms and equipping one of them with personal computers.

The department also plans to spend $180,000 of the federal grant on personal computers for police headquarters and district offices and another $85,000 to install mobile computer terminals in 13 unmarked cars used by detectives.

Smaller amounts will be spent on computer training and police radios and to help the Erie County district attorney set up a new unit aimed at prosecuting violent juvenile offenders.

Other grant recipients, announced by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda, include:

Niagara Falls -- $103,125 to hire new police officers.

Cheektowaga -- $83,055 for equipment and technology.

Lackawanna -- $68,300 for police overtime and equipment.

Lockport -- $58,384 for overtime and equipment.

Town of Hamburg -- $52,038 for overtime and equipment.

Erie County -- $50,215 to improve prosecution of violent offenders.

Smaller grants went to the City of Tonawanda, the Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Amherst, Depew, Olean, Jamestown and each of the counties in Western New York.

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