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Leaders in Niagara Falls concerned with spike in crime

Police say a new Niagara County Violent Crime Task Force has had success in taking guns, drugs and criminals off the streets in the 10 days since it was formed.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Niagara Falls has seen a spike in violence seen over the last few months. The city says it has seen 14 killings already this year.

And on Friday, Niagara Falls police, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino and prosecutors in the city held a news conference about the problems they're dealing with trying to stop that violence and what they're doing about it.

Niagara Falls Police Chief Thomas Licata says despite the mistrust he knows that some have of police, his officers are not stepping back from the situation.

"As the officer said, I believe the majority of the people in these neighborhoods are looking for us to step up. The violence has to be addressed. For us to pull back now when the violence is out of control is against every grain of law enforcement. We all took this job and took an oath to protect the public, and we have 14 homicides. For us to sit back because there's a segment of the population that might be offended is not acceptable," Licata said.

Police say a new Niagara County Violent Crime Task Force has had success in taking guns, drugs and criminals off the streets in the 10 days since it was formed.