Active shooter training to be provided at Buffalo Parks facilities

Mar 8, 2018

Active shooter training will be provided at Buffalo community centers, ice rinks and pools under a resolution passed by the Common Council.

The measure sponsored by South Buffalo Councilmember Chris Scanlon directs the city Parks Department to work with Buffalo Police SWAT Team members to provide the training.

"Last week there was a false alarm scare at one of the community centers in the City of Buffalo and it got us thinking that, you know, in this day and age, there's no longer hope that these things won't take place," said Scanlon. "We have to begin instituting strategies to prevent them from taking place and educating people on how to react to them if they do take place."

Scanlon said last week's scare was at Tosh Collins Community Center on Cazenovia Street in his district. He said a center employee thought he saw a gun exchange hands between two unknown people early in the morning, before seniors arrived. The center's executive director quickly had employees lock themselves in their offices, while 911 was called. Police determined there was no gun.

However, he said, it underlines the importance of securing these public open spaces, as shootings become more common.

"These buildings some of our most vulnerable citizens - our seniors, our youth, some people in the special needs community," Scanlon continued, "and I think that it's paramount that the people working at these facilities receive this training."

Masten District lawmaker Ulysses Wingo said he was pleased to support the resolution.

"Primarily because we have seen a tremendous increase in horrific incidents across the country regarding the safety of our young people in school buildings," said Wingo, "and the fact that we had this scare in one of our community centers just, of course, let's us know how much more work we need to do to make sure our young people are safe and that people who are servicing our communities are safe."

No timetable was established, but Scanlon said training is expected to be provided within 90 days. Councilmembers, themselves, have had active shooter training.