Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NFTA to lay off 20% of police force

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The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which oversees Buffalo, N.Y.'s light rail transit line, plans to lay off almost 20% of its transit police, or about 20 officers, to cope with a $15 million deficit.

The move has generated concerns over passenger safety, and safety for the remaining officers, by the Transit Police Benevolent Association, which represents the officers.

"To me it presents a huge, huge problem not only for our officers but passengers," said Officer David Zarbo, president of the Transit Police Benevolent Association. "My concern is my patrolmen. Is there adequate manpower to back up guys for calls?"

NFTA Executive Director Kimberley A. Minkel acknowledges the impact of the layoffs, but says new technology and redeployment of police manpower will maintain safety and security.