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Mayor Byron W. Brown
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Home » Press Releases » 2008 News Archive » Mayor Brown/Buffalo Police Department Announce Record-Setting Month for Mob

Mayor Brown/Buffalo Police Department Announce Record-Setting Month for Mobile Response Unit

BUFFALO - Mayor Byron W. Brown and Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson today announced a record-setting month of operations for the Buffalo Police department's Mobile Response Unit.

The Unit registered 354 arrests during January, exceeding their previous monthly high of 331 in May 2007.  The MRU also posted monthly highs for guns seized (30, previous high - 27 in August 2007) and cash seized ($54,799, previous high - $29,723 in June 2007).

"The Mobile Response Unit is a proven success in my Administration's determination to combat criminal activity, anywhere in the City of Buffalo, and to protect our residents' quality of life," said Mayor Brown. "Fighting crime is my Administration's top priority and I am extremely proud of the dedication and success of the men and women of the MRU, along with their fellow Buffalo Police Department officers, who, every day, place themselves in harm's way to ensure the safety and welfare of every law abiding resident and business owner in our city."

The Mobile response Unit was formally launched on January 14, 2007 and was designed to target and eliminate areas of high crime, illegal guns, gang activity and drug trafficking throughout Buffalo.

"One of the major goals of this Department is to get guns, gangs and drugs off the streets and the Mobile Response Unit continues to put a major dent into all three categories," said Commissioner Gipson. "Since its inception in January 2007, the unit has helped to drastically reduce violent crime in the city including a sharp decrease in homicides last year."

Following the success of Operation Strike Force, which was a special Police Department mobile response unit that operated from August 12, 2006 through November 19, 2006, Commissioner Gipson and his management team recommended disbanding the Department's Flex Unit and replace it with the Mobil Response Unit (MRU), incorporating the successful strategy and tactics of Operation Strike Force.

The MRU consists of twenty-four Police Officers, four Lieutenants and two Detectives.  The Unit has collaborated closely with the Police Department's Narcotics Unit, the DEA Task Force, the ATF and the New York State Division of Parole.  The unit also included a canine patrol dog.

At its inception, Police Department Chiefs developed a list of top five district "hotspots" that were targeted by the MRU.  Since that time, the Unit has developed analysis-based targets as well as utilizing information gathered from Patrol, Narcotics and Homicide intelligence.  They have also worked closely with City housing Inspectors.

With the continuing success of the Mobile Response Unit, Mayor Brown and Commissioner Gipson also announced that two canine dogs trained in narcotics detection will be assigned to the MRU, effective immediately.  The dogs, Konan and Herc, will join Roni, who was assigned to the Unit in January 2007.

"As I have said before, we will provide our police officers with all of the tools available to assist them in their day-to-day operations, including our citywide surveillance camera system and the best trained canines, who provide excellent service in ongoing illegal drug operations," said Mayor Brown.

Violent crime continues to decrease in the City of Buffalo. Through December 2007, all four categories of violent crime - Homicide, Rape, Robbery and Assault - are down by 12% collectively versus the same time period in 2006. For the past two years, crime in the city has dropped 7%.

The city's new 100 high-tech surveillance camera system and the Police Department's new police class, which will add approximately 100 new police officers to the Department by July 2008, will strengthen the Department's other ongoing anti-crime initiatives, including the Mobile Response Unit.

Since it began operations in January 2007, the MRU has made 2,914 arrests, issued 7,250 summonses, impounded 747 vehicles, seized $241,237 in cash and removed 195 illegal weapons from the streets.

The number of guns seized by the MRU is in addition to the 878 illegal guns that were removed from Buffalo streets in one day in June 2007 during the City's No Questions Asked Gun Buyback effort.