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December 2017 Column - Law enforcement, emergency services highlight efforts to keep community safe


Legislator Rath delivered donuts and certificates to the Amherst Police Department and New York State Police in Clarence
The budget process ensured these outstanding organizations are offered funding from Erie County
Updates on Clarence and Amherst road and infrastructure, and anti-bullying efforts
All donations collected helped provide Thanksgiving meals to families in need
Home Energy Assistance Program outreaches to assist residents with this year’s application process

oneilj - Posted on 11 December 2017

I first want to start by wishing you all a very 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 fast, and 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.


The remaining space in this column is dedicated to addressing a very serious issue that weighs heavy 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 have 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 (MERS). 


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 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 goes 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.