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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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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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The Potential Impact of Legalizing, Regulating, and Taxing Marijuana on Erie County and New York State

Sam Magavern — Oct 28, 2015

The costs of continuing the prohibition of marijuana far outweigh the benefits.  Prohibition costs the public a large amount of money in law enforcement expenses and lost tax revenue; it imposes great harms on individuals, families and neighborhoods by criminalizing relatively harmless behavior and spawning a large, violent, underground economy; and it contributes heavily to the large racial disparities in our criminal justice system.

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Poverty, Race, and Community Policing in Buffalo

Mark Poloncarz 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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Best Practices in Mental Health at Corrections Facilities

Sahil Jain — Nov 1, 2011

Police, court personnel, and correctional staff interact with, stabilize, and treat more persons with mental illness than any other system in America—making criminal justice agencies the largest mental health provider in the United States.  Yet a wide gap exists between the training of corrections staff and the enormous responsibility they have for day-to-day management of mental health issues.  To narrow this gap in jail and prison settings, the best practices include training …

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Violent Crime in the City of Good Neighbors

Regional Institute — Feb 1, 2007

A look at violent crime rates over the past twenty years shows that the ebb and flow of crime in Buffalo has reflected trends in many other cities: up in the early ‘90s, down during the mid and late ‘90s and rising gradually since 2000.  Similarly, the city’s shrinking police force is mirrored elsewhere as cities struggle with limited resources— resources that are hard to direct given uncertainty about the causes of crime.

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