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Erie County Sheriff's Office: Extra patrols net DWI arrests, summonses

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Sat, Dec 5th 2015 07:00 am

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the extra holiday weekend patrols made five arrests for driving while intoxicated and issued approximately 175 tickets for various traffic violations.

Among the more common summonses issued were for speeding, drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts, and distracted driving.

There was one fatal crash, and the cause of that incident remains under investigation.

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Sheriff's Marine Unit officially ends season

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the Marine Unit has officially ended its marine patrols for 2015. The patrol season started May 15 and ended Nov. 15. During the winter months, the Erie County Sheriff Office's two vessels will receive some needed maintenance and repair work.

The Marine Unit logged over 3,400 man-hours patrolling Erie County waterways during the 2015 boating season. During their patrols, the unit:

•Conducted 25 search-and-rescue missions.

•Issued 165 summonses for navigation law violations.

•Made four boating while intoxicated arrests.

•Investigated 14 water vessel accidents.

•Issued 76 warnings to boaters and operators.

The Marine Unit reports the most common infractions cited by deputies were unregistered vessels, reckless boating, and insufficient or no visual distress equipment on board.

In addition to maritime patrols, the Marine Unit conducted numerous border security patrols. These specialized patrols were funded through Homeland Security grants and oftentimes were conducted in conjunction with other law enforcement marine units.

Members of the Marine Unit will transfer back into patrol districts and the Snowmobile Unit.

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Increased presence at Bills games announced

In the wake of recent events, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced the Erie County Sheriff's Office will increase manpower for the remaining Buffalo Bills' home games.

The increased manpower will include additional K9 units and uniformed and plainclothes deputies throughout the stadium and Bills' parking lots.

In addition to the increased sheriff's presence, specialized security measures will be deployed in and around Ralph Wilson Stadium and vehicles entering Bills' parking lots are subject to inspection by law enforcement agents.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office is urging fans to stay vigilant and it is reminding them "if you see something, say something." Individuals inside the stadium should report an incident or suspicious activity by using the Fan Text Line (69050), and people outside the stadium should call 911.

Although the sheriff's office does not expect lengthy delays, it is encouraging fans to arrive early and be prepared for the increased security and inspections at the gates and the Bills parking lots. It is strongly recommended that fans do not bring bags with them to the stadium, however if a fan brings a bag, it must be in compliance with the NFL's bag policy, which requires it be made of clear PVC, plastic, or vinyl and cannot exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.

The sheriff's office said it has not received any credible threats against Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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