Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Byron Brown's challenger for the Democratic mayoral nomination is challenging the mayor's claim Buffalo's crime rate is down. So too is the Republican candidate.
Mayor Brown says the crime rate has dropped 20 percent, says Bernie Tolbert, the numbers don't add up to him. "When I talk to officers on the streets and people in the neighborhood, what I hear from them don't add up. Even if crime is down 20 percent, we're still the 10th most dangerous city in America," says Tolbert.
Tolbert, a former FBI agent, says the Brown administration has hired 225 new police officers since 2006, but "what they don't tell you is they've lost 254 in the same time frame to attrition. That's a net of negative 29."
Tolbert says one way to overcome the fear of speaking up is to have more police on the streets.
That's something Sergio Rodriguez says he's been talking about since entering the race for mayor earlier this year. "Homicides did go up 40 percent last year," says Rodriguez. He has a wish for Mayor Brown. "I wish he would be grounded in reality," notes Rodriguez. "It would help if he would at least acknowledge what the situation is in the city if we're ever going to move forward."
We put a call out to Mayor Brown for a response, but our calls have not been returned.