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DA's office honors officer killed on duty in 1997

The Erie County District Attorney's Office is honoring Buffalo Police Officer Charles E. "Skip" McDougald, killed in the line of duty 20 years ago this month, by attaching his name to its program that seeks to assist students at a city high school.

Called the "Officer Skip McDougald Adopt-a-School Project," volunteers from the DA's staff, including attorneys, investigators and other personnel, will visit Academy School 131 on the 400 block of South Park Avenue each month to teach life skills, create "open and honest dialogue" between students and law enforcement and conduct other activities.

"There is no better role mode for our adopted students than Officer McDougald, a decorated African-American police officer who gave his time to teach city students and who gave his life to protect city residents," District Attorney John J. Flynn said.

Jonathan L. Parker was convicted for fatally shooting McDougald in April 1997. Parker opened fire on McDougald and his partner, Officer Michael Martinez, when they attempted to question him about a stolen van.

McDougald had also worked as a substitute English teacher in the Buffalo public schools.

The project also includes plans to plant and maintain a "Grassroots Garden" at the school and establish a one-on-one mentoring program.

The DA's office is receiving assistance from the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association in this endeavor, according to Flynn.

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