Weekly Feature

2017-12-06 / Editorials

Law enforcement, emergency help keep community safe

Erie County Legislator

I first want to start by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. My wife, Amy, and I look forward to spending time with our three daughters, who are growing up far too quickly, as well as my family and friends. Please remember to celebrate responsibly and use caution on the roadways if the weather turns bad.

Thank you to the voters for their support in this past election. I appreciate the kind words, encouragement and support I received as I look to begin a new term in 2018. It is an honor to serve the residents of the 6th District as well as all of Erie County, and I will continue to prioritize your needs.

I’d also like to address a very serious issue that weighs heavily on all our minds and hearts these days, and that is our public safety. I don’t believe we should live our lives in fear or stop attending the local destination events we enjoy, especially during this joyous holiday season. Furthermore, all of us should be mindful of the fact that we can enjoy these experiences with our family and friends because of the professionalism and dedication of local law enforcement. However, we must also remain vigilant and aware that threats can happen anywhere.

I recently hosted a Public Safety Committee meeting with Central Police Services, Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Office to outline the county’s preparedness strategies and to discuss future plans and/or adjustments. The outstanding collaboration between the aforementioned agencies and local law enforcement makes our community fortunate that we have not suffered from any of the devastating losses that have made the national news. In fact, in November of this year, decisive action by two local heroes in Cheektowaga and its Police Department averted a potential tragedy at a local Dollar General.

My Legislature colleagues and I learned during the discussion that our local agencies feel that they are well-prepared to handle a large-scale crisis, whether it is a shooter, weather event or accident, such as a structure fire/collapse or large motor vehicle accident. One of the most significant changes has been the training of officers in simple lifesaving measures, the upgrade and utilization of our high-tech E-911 dispatch system, and the creation of the Medical Emergency Radio System.

While much can be done to prevent some incidents, we have to be prepared for the worst. Stopping bleeding, quickly assessing injuries and getting the most critical patients to hospitals first, is how we can best respond and save as many lives as possible.

In addition to the discussion that I hosted, I will be joining the county’s Emergency Services Department and Sheriff’s Office before the end of the football season for a tour of the security procedures at New Era Field. It our intention to learn about the amount of work it takes to keep all of the fans, personnel and players safe during these large events. Buffalo Sabres games, Canalside events and concerts, and outdoor festivals are also some of the examples where law enforcement and agencies go above and beyond to protect our community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at 858-8676 or email edward.rath@erie.gov.

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