By Robert J. McCarthy
In another sign that crime will emerge as a major issue in this year's mayoral campaign, Republican candidate Sergio R. Rodriguez said Friday the Brown administration should recognize a worsening problem.
The candidate pointed to a Friday story in The Buffalo News outlining several crimes in Allentown and the Elmwood Village.
"If we are going to address the issue of crime in the city, there first needs to be a sense of urgency and an acknowledgement of the realities we are facing," he said. "While the current mayor and his police commissioner blame the weather for this increase in crime, the areas that people consider safe in Buffalo are shrinking.
"I hold their lack of leadership and vision accountable for the increase in crime," he added.
Brown has defended his crime-fighting record by pointing to a 20 percent overall decrease in Buffalo, as well as efforts to recruit new police officers, introduce surveillance cameras aroound the city and buy back thousands of guns to remove them from the streets.
Democratic primary opponent Bernard Tolbert has also stressed the need to better fight crime. He did not react to the Friday story.