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Outrages in the fine print

Two things caught my eye reading the paper over the weekend.

First, in a disturbing story detailing how 13 women have died at the hands of their current or former male partners since November, came this passage.

Many advocates contend that law enforcement agencies need to devote more resources and training to help curb the upward spiral of violence.

Several noted that the Buffalo Police Department in recent years has dramatically scaled back the number of detectives assigned to handling domestic violence cases and pulled its investigators from the Family Justice Center, a one-stop agency devoted to linking victims with assistance and resources.

I find the retreat by the Buffalo police department especially troubling given what I read in crime incident reports when I work the police beat once every three or four weeks. As I noted in a blog past last week, there are a lot of assaults against women by men who are violating orders of protection.

Twice in the past couple of months I read reports where men kicked pregnant women in the stomach.

Domestic violence is by no means limited to the city, but there sure is a lot of it occurring in Buffalo. I wonder what reasoning the police brass has in pulling back.

I''ll bet that the law enforcement community throughout Western New York, including judges, don't come down real hard on the vast majority of men who violate orders of protection. It looks like in Buffalo they may hardly be trying. 

Anyone out there have any stats or insights?

The other items that caught my eye involved the deal Gov. David Paterson struck late last week with two of the large state employee unions.The deal: buyouts for 4,500 instead of layoffs for 8,700, and changes in the pension system.

Here's a nugget that jumped out at me:

The big winners of the day were the two public employee unions. CSEA President Danny Donohue, who vowed his members would never concede to contract givebacks, said he also received a pledge from Paterson that layoffs will be off the table for two years.

Let me get this straight: The state is already facing a $5 billion deficit for the budget year that started in April, and the Guv has ruled out layoffs for this year and next? What a negotiator.

Of course, this is the same guy who thought he struck a good deal with Yahoo! by giving the company hydropower discounts worth $810,000 per $50,000 job created, and then felt it wasn't his place to ask the company to place its server farm any closer to the populous than the Pembroke exit off the Thruway.


Buffalo police, crime | State government
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