BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For 18 months, the union which represents the City of Buffalo’s police officers has been asking for the department to increase its fleet of squad cars. Buffalo PBA President John Evans says nothing has been done yet.
But now, it appears the wheels are in motion.
The Buffalo Common Council is considering a plan to allocate $1 million to acquire police vehicles. The idea was kicked to the council’s finance committee this week.
Right now, the department has between 130 and 150 vehicles in service, according to Captain Jeff Rinaldo. But Evans believes the actual number is lower than that.
“Currently, there’s about eight functioning vehicles in each district,” Evans said. “We should have 20.
“Rochester has 224 dedicated patrol vehicles in its fleet. We have 44.”
Rinaldo says the department plans to purchase 20 additional vehicles, the funding for which has already been approved in the city’s capital budget, according to officials in Mayor Byron Brown’s office. Rinaldo says the department also wants to lease about 25 more. Right now, the city owns all of its police cars. But if the leasing works out, as Rinaldo says it has for other agencies, they’ll look to do more of it.
Councilman Rasheed Wyatt says he is interested in getting more details on leasing.
“We were supposed to get an analysis done,” Wyatt said. “We were supposed to be leasing versus purchasing. The council has asked for an analysis. Is there a benefit to leasing versus purchasing? That’s the only thing we’re waiting on.”
Evans, who indicated he’s sick of waiting, said he doesn’t expect to see the vehicles any time soon.
“If they ordered these cars today, it takes at least 10 months to get these vehicles. So we’re looking into November, if they did it today.
“I don’t know when they’re going to do it.”