Search resumes for missing Buffalo police diver

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined the search for missing Buffalo police diver Officer Craig Lehner.

Lehner went missing during a training exercise on Friday. The search for him involved multiple law enforcement agencies from across the state and Canada.

“Obviously it’s been a rough couple of days for members of the BPD. We anticipate a few more rough days ahead,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda during a media briefing Monday morning. “But we want to thank everybody for their support. The community, the business community, the law enforcement community. Everyone’s been nothing short of spectacular”

Searching continued through the weekend before it was suspended later on Sunday, due to stormy weather.

“Today, the weather forecast, other than being cold, is going to cooperate with us,” BPD Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said Monday, “so we’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping today’s the day we find our brother.”

At first light on Monday, the search continued. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brought side-scanning sonar technology to help with the search efforts.

The U.S. Coast Guard has worked on condition models, which will help them figure out the most accurate path something could have traveled in the water, based on weather and currents.

Lt. Rinaldo says searchers are using those models to narrow down the search area. Teams of two or three divers are working together to conduct “drift dives”, during which they allow the current to carry them while they search for any sign of Officer Lehner’s gear in the massive debris field in the targeted area of the Niagara River.

In all, Buffalo Police say 10 to 12 boats are helping with the search, as well as helicopters from State Police, the Sheriff’s Office, and Customs and Border Protection.

If nothing is found in the next day or two, authorities will reevaluate what the search will entail, but they say they will never stop searching for Lehner.


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