BUFFALO, NY - With Buffalo recently ranked as the 11th most dangerous city in America, which candidate Democratic voters in the city believe can keep them safer will be a key factor in who wins the primary for mayor.
Challenger Bernie Tolbert has played up his credentials as a former FBI agent.
Now Tolbert has the endorsement of the Buffalo PBA which in a statement said:
"The Buffalo Police Department has become far too political during the current Mayor's tenure. Mr. Tolbert's education, professional background and personal qualities lend themselves to working with the PBA..."
Mayor Byron Brown counters by saying that overall crime is down by 20% since he took office, 225 officers have been added to the force and that there are 200 new surveillance cameras on the streets.
Scott Brown: "Specifically what would you do differently to fight crime in the city?"
Bernie Tolbert: "A couple of things I would do. One is I would make sure that we had adequate numbers of police officers within the department deployed in a strategic way to enhance their ability to be effective. Also I want to make sure that we had our police department properly trained so that they were up to date on all of the latest law enforcement techniques."
Meanwhile the mayor picked up a police endorsement of his own on Monday, this one from the Afro-American Police Association which represents over 100 city police officers.
In a statement it said:
"By taking thousands of guns off the street, revitalizing neighborhoods....and community policing crime has been reduced and continues to fall. Buffalo is a safer place."
Despite the city's violent crime ranking, in an exclusive 2 On Your Side/Buffalo News/ Siena College poll, 55% of those surveyed said the police were doing either an excellent or good job in keeping citizens safe.