Buffalo mayoral candidate Bernie Tolbert called out Mayor Byron Brown's administration for manipulating crime statistics, Saturday morning.
Tolbert said, "I'm extremely displeased to find out that this administration has been feeding residents of the City of Buffalo inaccurate and false numbers."
Tolbert, the former head of the Buffalo FBI Office says he received information from members of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association. He says, officers told him that underhanded crime reporting takes place daily.
According to the mayoral candidate, officers said they have to target certain communities more than others. "The numbers are being inflated in and around Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Projects with mandatory traffic stops, which increases arrest numbers and further inflates statistics," Tolbert explains.
Tolbert's campaign says police officers are reclassifying crimes to make it seem as though there's less violent crime in the city.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda notes the city's crime statistics are not manipulated. He says supervisors go through every crime report to make sure it's accurate.
"If they believe the charge is wrong, they'll make it right. Also at times, the crime could be reported and go through and be investigated by detectives who come up with a different conclusion than what was originally reported," said Derenda.
As for police targeting specific communities, the commissioner says officers are put where they're needed the most.
Derenda explains, "Areas are targeted by the strike force if that's what we believe we're talking about depending on crime stats. They go into high crime areas, they saturate the neighborhood, and they do what they do which is high visibility."
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