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Bolstering Buffalo Place Rangers pays off

Two years ago, Buffalo Place decided it was time to more than double their Rangers security and escort program in downtown Buffalo, in recognition of the increased activity in the city's core, including among residents.

The investment has paid off, officials said Wednesday.

The nonprofit business improvement district organization increased its Rangers staff from three to eight in 2016, while adding significantly more hours to the program's operation.

Since then, the number of escorts have increased from 900 to 1,300 last year, while parking ramp patrols are up from 6,000 in 2015 to 10,000. Additionally, Rangers never stopped at local businesses in the past, but they made 806 such visits last year, said Buffalo Place executive director Michael Schmand.

As a result, he said, Rangers recorded and handled 1,300 incidents last year, compared to just 294 in 2015.

"We're getting our bang for our buck when this board decided to increase services," he said. "That all ties in to downtown being a safe space."

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