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Letter: Bad decisions by leaders from long ago hurt city

Crimes seem to be on the rise in the City of Buffalo. It is such a shame to see that now women and children are in the line of fire because of a possible drug deal gone wrong or bad blood between gang members.

I blame the increase in crime not only on the perpetrators but also on the actions of our city fathers going back to the 1990s when a new police commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, was brought in to run the department.

His plan to close all of our police precincts and form five districts (city charter called for six), put the city residents and the police officers at risk. (Editor’s note: newspaper archives showed a push by Kerlikowske for three districts).

Citizens could no longer come to the nearby precinct buildings to report a crime and the police must drive further to the scene of the crime.

In my Lovejoy neighborhood, a group of residents collected signatures to keep Precinct 11 open. Our precinct was closed and is now occupied by the traffic division, not the needed patrol officers.

Kerlikowske went on to eventually become drug czar in Washington, D.C., climbing on the backs of the citizens of Buffalo to reach his goal. The lives of police officers and public are all at risk because of the actions of our elected officials.

Marge Thielman



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