On Sunday, Oct. 7, at the team's Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans, the Bills celebrated the Buffalo Peacemakers as the One Buffalo Organization of the Game. The group's unwavering commitment to bettering our local community is what earned them the award. On behalf of his teammates, Bills captain Stephen Hauschka presented representatives from the organization, including the group's leader Pastor Giles, with a game ball in the ADPRO Sports Training Center.
Honored and humbled by the gesture, Pastor Giles explained how the Buffalo Peacemakers are making a difference by advocating for violence prevention.
"The Buffalo Peacemakers are made up of five individual, independent organizations," explained Giles. "We've come to address some of the violence that takes place in our community. So, we very strategically position ourselves, particularly around schools, to make sure students are exiting schools safely, getting on the bus safely – without fighting [and] harming each other. We also do street patrol to make sure neighborhoods are safe where there's a potential problem and in addition to that, we sometimes when there are shootings that take place we find out who's doing that. If there's tension between various groups, we try and bring them together so that we can resolve the tension [and] so we can save a life."
Working closely with the Buffalo Police Department, the Buffalo Peacemakers also take a proactive approach in patrolling major events.
"We are a community group and we have been working very closely with law enforcement in terms of doing some cooperative things [such as], public safety and to make sure, particularly at major events [and] major festivals, [that] we work hand-in-hand to make sure anybody with bad intentions coming to these large events are not going to be violent," he said. "So, we're the first hand and we're the first response to that and then if nobody is listening to us, then law enforcement will step in, but we try to keep things particularly mellow…."
In receiving the award, Giles was thrilled that the Buffalo Peacemakers' efforts are noticed.
"To be recognized by the Buffalo Bills for the work that we're doing, we so appreciate that and consider it such an honor to be [award] recipients," said Giles.
With input from the players, the Bills will continue to recognize a different local organization at each home game this season.