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CITY GETTING $1.56 MILLION TO DRIVE DOWN CRIME

The city of Buffalo received word Friday that it will receive a $1.56 million federal grant to buy 17 new police cars, refurbish the central booking bureau, and to pursue other anti-crime efforts.

The money, to be issued during the federal fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, is the third installment in the city's three-year Local Law Enforcement Block Grant.

Buffalo will receive one of the biggest awards in the state, said Rep. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda. Jurisdictions receive grants under the program based on the amount of serious violent crime in each community.

In total, New York communities will receive more than $38.5 million to reduce crime and improve public safety. More than $30 million of that will go to New York City.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Rocco Diina said the federal money will be spread among several anti-crime efforts.

The new marked and unmarked police cars will be the biggest expense, costing $415,000. The improvements at Central Booking will cost $220,000.

Other major expenses include $125,000 for crime prevention programs in individual neighborhoods, $100,000 for three juvenile delinquency prevention programs and $100,000 for community schools.

Other funds will go to pay for drug courts, bike patrols in city parks, a prosecutor for violent juvenile offenders, and several other efforts in the Police Department and other city offices.

"The funding will enhance the crime prevention efforts of law enforcement agencies which are tackling the most serious, violent crimes in the community," said Rep. Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, who announced the grant with LaFalce. "This will give our police officers the ability to do their job more efficiently by allowing them to spend their time where they're needed most: out on patrol."

To get the federal money, the city will be required to come up with $173,268 in matching funds.

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