Buffalo lawmaker confronts crime, practices what he preaches


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo North District Council member Joseph Golombek took “see something, say something” to another level when he came upon suspicious activity in his neighborhood: after seeing outsiders dealing what looked like drugs, he said something to police, then he said something to those poison peddlers–get out.

As Golombek put it, he “did what a regular citizen is supposed to do–I called 911,” but the city lawmaker does not consider what he did an act of heroism, or vigilantism, or even taking the law into his own hands.

When the councilman confronted that group of suspicious characters working the street in this Riverside neighborhood, he accomplished what the folks in this blue collar community are clamoring for, peace and quiet.

Golombek grew up in the neighborhood. Most of the people know him and he knows them, so he had no doubt what he saw happening on his street, the night of April 24, “It was an assembly line of people that were getting something that was being passed from one car to the next,” then the North District lawmaker said money was being given to the person who was handing out the packages.

Just as Golombek was about to call police, one of the strangers confronted him–Golombek told him he needed to leave, as he took the man’s picture with his cell phone, and then got the license plates of some of the cars.

The councilman said, it is a matter of practicing what you preach, “I can ask people to call 911, to call 311 to document, and I would have been remiss if I did not do that. So I had to do at least what I ask my constituents to do.”

While it is the police who make the arrests, Golombek said the cops need people in the community to step up and do their part, “Unfortunately you can’t have a police officer on every corner 24/7, waiting for this to happen. I feel their pain.”

Golombek said, of the license plates he took down, some were from the suburbs which he found to be deeply disturbing. Following that April 24 confrontation one Buffalo man was arrested and faces drug charges, plus a littany of traffic violations.

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