Many asked 2 On Your Side how the Bills players were able to get home while travel was banned.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — When a video was shared of Buffalo Bills players arriving in their car after landing in Rochester after a game on Christmas Eve, many wondered how the Bills would be heading home during the travel ban. I wondered if I was allowed to
Erie County Administrator Mark Polonkers responded to the question, which was asked by 2 On You Side’s Dave McKinley on Wednesday, and said no.
“They weren’t allowed to travel,” Polonkers told McKinley.
The bill also reportedly asked the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for an escort, but was told no because a driving ban was in force.
“I don’t want anyone to think Erie County gave the bill a favor,” Polonkers said.
Sheriff’s office agents are still helping clean up after the storm, and they were engaged in life-saving efforts when the bill landed in Rochester on Sunday.
The Polonkers also clarified that Bills players are not considered essential workers.
“When they win, they are essential to our mental health, but they are not essential workers.
That’s not the only thing Polonkertz revealed at Wednesday’s briefing. He also said the National Guard isn’t in the city to issue tickets to drivers, unlike what was falsely reported on social media by the county on Tuesday.
The National Guard was deployed to regulate traffic entering the city, so efforts could continue to reduce obstructions and clear the streets.
Poloncarz also said he would not be charged for towing a vehicle during a storm. This is an expense borne by the county.
When Channel 2 reached out to Bills for comment, the team issued the following statement:
“I want to thank all of our first responders and everyone in our community for their amazing work during this unprecedented storm. The governors were real heroes during this time.We are so grateful to have them in this community and to be our leaders.Our travel party has 150 people who want to be with their families. We made the very difficult decision to come back on Christmas Day because there were more than 1000 people. We did not seek or receive an escort from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and we were not only sent to them, but to Chicago on Thursday. From the day we left for New York to the day we returned home, we were in constant contact with other agencies in western New York. Focus on — Bills EVP/COO Ron Raccuia