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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Memorial services and remembrance ceremonies will be held across Buffalo. The Tops on Jefferson Avenue will be the focal point this weekend, and there will be a noticeable security presence to make sure everyone is safe.

“Law enforcement presence along with ours is designed to deter individuals from doing anything radical,” Pastor James Giles of the WNY Peacemakers said. “

Security at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue will be stepped up this weekend according to Buffalo Police. Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said while he won’t discuss specific details, the department will have a significant presence to ensure safety.

Mario Rodriguez is a security expert and says the security plan begins with a threat and vulnerability assessment to make sure everything is searched and monitored properly.

“Trash cans being searched, bomb dogs out, sniper on roofs. There’s going to be what we call an inside, outside approach, a layered approach where that location is going to be. Your going to have all of the areas around that that are going to be vulnerabilities as well,” Rodriguez, president of Forseti Protection Group, added.

Pastor Giles and the WNY Peacemakers will also be there to make community members more comfortable during an emotional weekend.

“That type of hatred, it’s capable of doing something like this at any time. We try to institute safeguards to prepare and protect people. It is our hope that no one is plotting or scheming on that,” Giles explained. “People tend to look at us as one of them just out there working to make sure everyone is safe. We are trained to console individuals who are under stress or duress.”

“If you’re feeling scared, talk to someone, reach out, bring friends and community. There’s empowerment together. I also encourage you to look for situational awareness in your approach. Know where your exits are, what options you have to get away from situations,” Rodriguez concluded.

Other law enforcement agencies such as the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will be on scene all weekend, supporting the Buffalo Police, which is the primary agency. Also, the Peacemakers will be across the street from Tops, passing out food and helping residents through this difficult weekend.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.