BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Common Council has approved Joseph Gramaglia as the next Commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department.

Gramaglia, while serving as Deputy Commissioner, was recently selected by Mayor Byron Brown to fill the position. This comes following the retirement of Byron Lockwood, who finished his duties as Commissioner last week.

Lockwood, who spent nearly four decades with the Buffalo Police Department, had been appointed Commissioner in 2018 — the same year Gramaglia began his most recent position.

Lockwood was the 41st Commissioner, and the second African-American to serve as the head of Buffalo’s police.

Gramaglia, whom the Common Council unanimously approved, first joined the department in 1996 as an officer. He eventually worked his way to the ranks of lieutenant, captain and chief of B-District before becoming Deputy Commissioner.

While he’s in charge, Gramaglia says officers will carry stun guns while on duty. The new commissioner’s goal is to give his officers more direction about what they’re expected to do.

Citing 2019’s 24 percent drop in shootings across Buffalo, Gramaglia believes community policing and events that bring officers together with the public will be key to reducing crime.

“I think we can really strive to reduce those numbers,” Gramaglia says.

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