Security at local auto bureaus under review

Jun 7, 2018

An incident inside the downtown Auto Bureau, late last week, could lead to tighter security at all of the Erie County Bureaus.

Erie County's main Auto Bureau is located at 170 Pearl St., Buffalo.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

The County's 11 Auto Bureaus serve more than 750,000 customers each year. But, County Clerk Mickey Kearns says, the only location with security screening and three Sheriff's Deputies on duty, full-time, is in the Auto Bureau inside the Rath Building.       

"But, unfortunately, there are some people, we know this, that they don't want to comply with the rules, even if there's security here. And we had an incident, on Friday, where a customer got very hostile with one of our workers."

Traffic was light in the downtown Auto Bureau, Wednesday afternoon.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Kearns says last year alone there were 115 incidents at the downtown auto bureau. His biggest concern though is at the satellite locations.  

"There's no security at the doors, except in Cheektowaga, on Saturday. We do approximately a thousand transactions each Saturday, in Cheektowaga. We have a tremendous amout of people coming in. So, all of that does not make for an environment that is safe and conducive to people coming in and having a good experience. So, we're asking the Sheriff's Office to take a look and to do an independent assessment of our satellite offices."   

Kearns says the Sheriff's Office is also going to provide active shooter training for Auto Bureau employees. And he's asking the County Legislature to review the security issue.