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Another Voice: Brown’s experience matters in mayoral race

Another Voice: Brown’s experience matters in mayoral race

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Point duty in policing is holding a key location to control the flow of traffic. In the military, it’s the most dangerous position at the head of a maneuver. In a lifetime of service, we’ve taken points of control and recognize the importance of leadership.

We believe Mayor Byron W. Brown should remain on point representing Buffalo. He is the most qualified candidate in the race measured by integrity, experience and results.

Forty years ago, we started as Buffalo police officers. We were assigned to the Point Control Unit, covering the intersection where Mayor James D. Griffin drove into work daily. He often remarked that we had the daily traffic situation under control and got the job done with excellence. Likewise, Mayor Anthony Masiello’s administration prioritized investing in a well-trained and effective police department.

We have worked with Mayor Brown’s administration in various positions in law enforcement and government. He is getting the job done for Buffalo and he should continue to take point. He appointed more African American and female police commissioners and deputy commissioners than all prior Buffalo mayors combined. He has placed more women in city government leadership positions than any other mayor and has modernized the Buffalo Police Department despite difficult funding constraints. Outside political operatives can prepare slick presentations to cover a candidate’s lack of experience, but nothing substitutes for real experience.

Brown didn’t come to his first job interview for mayor with no experience and ask us to just trust him. He brought a lifetime of high integrity and experience. He graduated from SUNY Buffalo State and was a trusted aide to Dennis Gorski – a Vietnam-era Marine and veteran elected official who saw Brown’s promise and commitment to serve.

Brown worked with and learned from Arthur O. Eve, Roger Blackwell and George K. Arthur, as well as serving as Masten District Council member and a New York state senator. He has been part of the East Side community and civic organizations that support it for years, including the NAACP and Buffalo Urban League. He has shown commitment and fidelity to Michelle Austin Brown for 32 years of marriage.

As citizens and former law enforcement officers, we proudly state that Mayor Brown passes our background check with flying colors. We must avoid candidates with no record of verifiable achievements who want to be in charge of a $535 million budget, thousands of employees and the largest police force in Western New York. The proposals to cut the police budget are incompetent, dangerous and will disproportionately fall on women and people of color.

We cannot afford to let our city slip back to a time of decline by buying a bill of goods prepared by out-of-town political operatives for totally inexperienced candidates peddling slick proposals.

Please join us in voting for a proven leader who has worked tirelessly with us to build the good things we have, not for someone who just wants to tear us down. The safe choice for the future of Buffalo is Byron Brown.

Barbara Miller-Williams, the Buffalo city comptroller, is a retired Buffalo police officer. Patricia B. Pierce is a retired Buffalo police officer and former member of the Buffalo Board of Education.

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