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Muscle downtown ...

   The know-it-alls in The Buffalo News Opinion corner today approved announced plans to clean up the neighborhood crime-wise, and urge the governor to sign a bill keeping the benefits of Niagara hydropower in the family.

- Ramping up the fight - Buffalo News Editorial
   Buffalo police are planning to do what they must in ratcheting up downtown security in the aftermath of the brutal killings at a popular restaurant. The violence that erupted at the City Grill on Aug. 14 was Tolesscorecard frightening to every demographic: business owners, residents, workers and visitors.
   Creation of a new Violent Crime Task Force, one designed to put city police at the center of a network of local, state and federal agencies targeting the worst of the worst, is not a complete answer to asserting the rule of law on the streets, but it's a good step. The commitment of resources to attacking the problem of violence also is praiseworthy.
   The area's district attorneys also can help by buying into a request by State Division of Criminal Justice Service Acting Commissioner Sean Byrne to voluntarily expand the state's crime-solving DNA database, by making DNA sampling a condition of any plea bargain to a lesser charge. That also could help nip crime careers in the bud, and as Byrne noted here Tuesday it's an "interesting suspect" who wouldn't trade a mouth swabbing for a lesser sentence.
   Downtown, especially, needs protection. Downtown is a special place in all cities, Buffalo included. It is the heart of the city, and a city with a wounded heart cannot be healthy. Buffalo will suffer worse than it already does if those who would patronize downtown businesses conclude that their safety is at risk. That is a real possibility following these shootings.
   Police needed to act and they are. ...
   Much violent crime is gang-related. That kind of crime is rarely associated with downtown; yes, it is important to protect the city's core, but it would be useful to attack this kind of crime at its source: in the desperation and poverty where gangs find their recruits.

   Related:
- City Grill suspect is charged in bloodbath - The Buffalo News
- Victims deserve courtesy, and to have their stories told - Yvonne Downs/Another Voice/The Buffalo News
- News Editor, Area Pastor Appear on CNN Segment - Buffalo News Live
- A “dramatic mobilization” needed - James Lawrence/Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
- Too Long Ignored - Bob Herbert/The New York Times   

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Behind the News | Current Affairs | Editorials
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