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City Hallways (Jan. 25) At police oversight meeting, talk of tasers and accreditation

Cop talk

Lots of police talk in Council Chamber Tuesday – three hours of it, in fact, at the Council's Police Oversight Committee's bi-annual meeting.

Police brass was there, along with dozens of residents.

Some residents wanted to talk about creating a civilian police oversight committee.

Some wanted to talk about marijuana arrests.

Some wanted to talk about problems specific to Buffalo's non-English speaking community.

There was also talk of tasers. The police commissioner is not a fan.

And of police accreditation. The Buffalo police department isn't accredited by any outside agencies.

Shortly after the Police Oversight Committee meeting ending, the Common Council's meeting convened. The Common Council quickly drafted and passed three resolutions related to the discussions at the Oversight Committee meeting.

In one, the Council encouraged the BPD to seek accreditation from New York State, and to regularly file progress reports on their efforts with the Council.

In another, the Council asked the BPD to provide the Council with information on non-lethal use of force in violent altercations, including the pros and cons to using taser guns.

And in the third, the Council President Darius Pridgen created a Language Access Task Force to help address issues facing the city's immigrant community.

Fontana, suffering from pneumonia and complications, out of hospital

Lovejoy Councilman Richard Fontana missed another Council meeting Tuesday, but his colleagues say he's recuperating at home, and could be back to work in time for the Council's next meeting in two weeks.

Fontana was hospitalized with pneumonia, and related complications, his colleagues said. He's been out of work a few weeks. After spending time in the hospital, he was sent to rehab, and is now home, they said.

Masten Councilman Ulysees Wingo said he spoke with Fontana earlier in the week.

Fontana sounded strong, said Wingo, who added he expects Fontana to be back to work soon.

Wingo then mentioned that Fontana might be watching the Council meeting, which is televised.

If Fontana is watching, Wingo said, the Council wants him to know that he is on their mind, and that they are looking forward to his return.

Today's calender events
Mayor Brown and other officials at groundbreaking this afternoon for $2.8 million Scajacuada Creek restoration project to address odor, flooding, algae problems between Main Street and Elmwood Avenue

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