Buffalo Police Prepare for Dueling Rallies

Police say manpower will be in place Sunday

Tom Puckett
July 18, 2019 - 4:00 am
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) This Sunday, there will be dueling rallies, one in support of President Trump, the other protesting it. Buffalo Police say they will be ready to patrol both in the event either or both get out of hand.

Pro-Trump supporters will rally at Colonial Circle, while not too far away along Bidwell Parkway, anti-Trump protesters will gather. "Having these two groups separated by some space is a good idea. But we will have officers monitoring both locations, so we can assure there's no violence occurring at either location." says Capt. Jeff Rinaldo. 

Rinaldo says neither rally's organizers have yet to apply for a permit. "We always like to see a permit because then we have an organizer we can reach out to in advance and work to come up with a game plan and accommodate their requests, as well as have a liaison in place to ensure public safety remains a priority," says Rinaldo. 

Rinaldo says there will be enough manpower to cover both events, and the Italian Festival. "We always have additional manpower on duty whenever we have great events in the city. It's not so much a strain on manpower, it's just logistically planning for all the contingencies," explains Rinaldo. 

Rinaldo says if things get out of hand, police handle matters independently of what happened in prior demonstrations, such as ICE protests pictured above. "We have to look at each situation in and of itself, and determine our response based on the officer safety, the safety of the people participating and the safety of the surrounding community," says Rinaldo. 

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