New York State In-depth

Taste of Buffalo arrives with added security

All of the excitement around the weekend event means Buffalo Police are taking extra steps to keep everyone safe downtown.

BUFFALO, NY — For the first time in more than two years, the Taste of Buffalo is making a full, in-person comeback.

Vendors have spent the day getting ready for the big event this weekend, and all of the excitement around the event means Buffalo Police are taking extra steps to keep everyone safe.

Restaurants, food trucks, and wineries are setting up shop in downtown Buffalo, and Taste of Buffalo organizers are expecting crowds to come out in full force to try some of Western New York’s best, and most unique, cuisines.

“We are, and we have, expanded our presence at large-scale events,” according to Buffalo Police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, who said the community should expect to see an increased number of officers this weekend.

He added: “Something that’s new to the festival here, and you’re going to start to see going forward at other festivals, is the presence of SWAT team members. We have drones, so we will be able to monitor those high level positions .”

Those SWAT members will be monitoring crowds and will be ready to assist quickly if needed.

“It’s a sad state of affairs, that we have to put such, you know, heavily armed, highly trained personnel. But I think it’s a comfort factor to people that are going out,” said Gramaglia.

It’s something Tops Friendly Markets, who sponsors the event, finds comfort in as the event returns this weekend.

“We feel comfortable being down here to serve the public. We know when events are put on, we trust the event companies that are in charge that they’re taking every measure for the safety of all, and we’re excited to be here ,” said Kathleen Allen, the senior manager of Tops community relations.

Gramaglia says Buffalo Police are ready, even if that excitement and comfort means extra security to ensure safety.

“People should not stay home,” Gramaglia saud. They got you have to live your life. But it’s checked. You know, we’re charged with the responsibility of making sure that people can feel a little bit safer when they go out and we’re going to do that.”

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