The Major Crimes Bureau is dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of gun violence-related crimes in Erie County. The bureau, led by Chief Gene T. Partridge, III, oversees a team of four experienced Assistant District Attorneys who have a proven record of trial skills. As many of these crimes involve reluctant victims and witnesses, prosecutors assigned to this bureau are proficient in securing testimonial evidence.
The bureau works closely in collaboration with the Buffalo Police Department Gun Violence Unit as well as the Erie County Sheriff's Office, local police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and Erie County Central Police Services to monitor and respond to escalating gang violence. Each member of the bureau tracks the activity of an assigned gang. , Our prosecutors, working alongside these partner agencies, attempt to detect and prevent gun violence before it occurs by identifying on-going conflicts and developing strategic leads to interrupt potential violence. If gun violence does occur, the assigned prosecutor will meet the victim at the hospital or consult with other known gang members to identify and disrupt the feud.
All of the Assistant District Attorneys within the Major Crimes Bureau are funded by a grant from the New York State Gun Involved Violence Elimination (G.I.V.E.) program. The grant requires that the assigned prosecutors only work on gun-related crimes and coordinate with the other G.I.V.E. partners, which include the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Erie County Probation, New York State Parole, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Division of Criminal Justice Services oversees the grant and regularly inspects the progress of the Major Crimes Bureau and maintains data related to gun violence in Erie County.
In addition to managing their caseload, Assistant District Attorneys within the bureau are required to serve as the “on-call prosecutor” on a rotating basis to be available 24/7 to assist law enforcement agencies with urgent legal issues or obtaining search warrants. The "on-call prosecutor" may also be called to the crime scene at the earliest stages of the investigation.