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The City of Buffalo’s Untapped Power to Discipline Police Officers

Miles Gresham — Oct 29, 2021

Drawing on decisions from the New York State Court of Appeals, this brief argues that the City of Buffalo has an untapped power to discipline police officers, outside of the provisions in its contract with the police union. Both court decisions and Buffalo’s legislative history grant it this authority. 

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Building a Safer Buffalo: Invest in Communities, Divest from Police

Colleen Kristich — May 6, 2021

Across the country, advocates are calling to cut police budgets in response to widespread misconduct made visible by videos of police killing unarmed civilians, disproportionately Black Americans, Indigenous people and people of color. Many attempts at police reform have failed to meaningfully change the harmful culture and practices of policing, and even with outsized public investment in law enforcement, public safety problems persist. Concerned residents and advocates call for reallocating …

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Footage Release Policies for the Buffalo Police Department

Sarah Wooton — Nov 16, 2020

To be effective accountability tools, police body cameras must be accompanied by good policies governing their usage and giving the public access to footage. Otherwise, exemptions in state freedom of information laws can be used to limit the disclosure of critical evidence of misconduct.

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Why Buffalo Needs Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Reducing Arrests and Providing Alternatives to Incarceration

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, Tanvier Peart — Jun 25, 2020

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-arrest diversion program that improves public safety and public health through partnership between police and community service providers.

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Eliminate 2018 Traffic Fees and Address Unequal Traffic Enforcement in Buffalo

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, George Nicholas, Jalonda Hill — Jun 18, 2020

The Buffalo Common Council should repeal its July 2018 amendment to Chapter 175 of the Cityof Buffalo Code that added 13 new fees related to traffic violations. The thirteen fees:• Are dramatically higher than those charged by other cities in New York;• Do not promote public safety and are not reliable revenue sources;• Exacerbate Buffalo’s already severe problems with poverty, racial disparity, andcommunity-police relations.

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Body Cameras for the Buffalo Police: Best Practices for Policy Creation

Sarah Wooton — Dec 21, 2017

This policy brief was drafted by Sarah Wooton, policy analyst at Partnership for the Public Good. It recommends that the Buffalo Police Department adopt policies governing the use of body cameras with a focus on six areas: activation, pre-report viewing, footage retention, footage protection, public disclosure of footage, and public input. Research suggests that simply adding body cameras may not improve policing without strong policies in each of these six areas.

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The City of Buffalo Police Department

Sarah Wooton — Dec 21, 2017

This fact sheet was drafted by Sarah Wooton, a policy analyst at Partnership for the Public Good. It documents the history and demographics of the City of Buffalo Police Department, its recent activity, its organization and chain of command, the bodies that are tasked with oversight of the department, and how residents can file a complaint. The fact sheet shares the current schedule of district community meetings happening monthly across the City, and concludes by listing contact information …

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Better Policing for the City of Buffalo: Toward Community, Transparency, and Justice

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin — Sep 26, 2017

This policy brief recommends that the Buffalo Police Department expand its community policing efforts through culture change and incentives, a diversified police force, increased training, improved transparency and oversight, more restorative justice and diversion programs, and the use of crime prevention through environmental design.  The brief is based on “Collaboration, Communication, and Community-Building: A New Model of Policing for 21st Century Buffalo,” a 2016 PPG …

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Collaboration, Communication and Community-Building

Open Buffalo Nov 18, 2016

As the nation strives to improve police-community relations, safeguard the lives of officers and residents, and reduce crime while respecting civil liberties, voices around the country – from President Obama to ordinary citizens – are calling for more community policing.  The Buffalo Police Department (BPD) has taken important steps toward embracing community policing, such as hiring community police officers, providing all officers with some community policing training, …

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Lisa Strand Interview

The Public Good Radio — May 26, 2015

The Public Good Radio interview with Lisa Strand of the Legal Aid Bureau on WUFO AM 1080.

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Poverty, Race, and Community Policing in Buffalo

Partnership for the Public Good — Mar 27, 2015

The region’s inequality has dramatic effects in every aspect of life, and the criminal justice system is no exception.  As PPG documented in its 2013 report, Alarming Disparities, African-Americans account for 14% of Erie County’s population but 43% of arrests and 65% of prison sentences, and Hispanics represent 4.7% of the population but 7% of arrests and 9% of prison sentences.  For some charges, the disparities are especially striking; for example, African-Americans …

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Alarming Disparities: The Disproportionate Number of African American and Hispanic People in Erie County Criminal Justice System

Open Buffalo — Nov 1, 2013

This study on the disproportionate number of African-American and Hispanic people in the Erie County criminal justice system reveals four findings for further analysis.  Representation of the African-American and Hispanic populations is disproportionately high in each stage of the criminal justice process, from arrest through sentencing.  The disparities grow worse at each stage of the process.  Violent felonies and drug felonies yield the greatest racial disparities.  The …

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Gang Prevention in Buffalo, NY and National Best Practices

Gabriella Agostinelli — Apr 25, 2013

While there is no consensus over a specific definition of “gang,” research has identified a group of characteristics to discern whether a group is a “gang.”  According to the Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention, these characteristics include: formal organizational structure (not a syndicate), identifiable leadership, identified territory, recurrent interaction, and engaging in serious or violent behavior.

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