BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans released a statement on the city’s plan for police reform.

Evans opened his statement by saying “It’s difficult to pinpoint just one of the many flaws with the City of Buffalo’s proposed police reform plan along with some incorrect assertions.”

He goes on to point out a number of other aspects of the plan he does not agree with.

MORE | Read the plan here.

Late last month, the public was invited to give their input on the plan, with answers being accepted through March 1.

Once a plan is finalized, it must be adopted as local law by April 1, per an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read Evans’ full statement on the plan below:

“It’s difficult to pinpoint just one of the many flaws with the City of Buffalo’s proposed police reform plan along with some incorrect assertions.

“For one, the plan states that police officers are ‘randomly killing and injuring innocent Black and other people of color needlessly.’  As rising crime rates in the city of Buffalo indicate, the killing and injuring of Black and other people of color in the city of Buffalo is being done against each other; not by Buffalo police officers.

“Another assertion implies that police officers turn a ‘blind eye’ if an officer sees wrongdoing by another officer.  It has always been a duty by a police officer to intervene if that officer sees wrongdoing by another officer.  The proposed reform plan should focus on reforms and not policies and procedures already in place.

“Furthermore, if reforms include banning the use of chokeholds and other tactics to subdue suspects, it is simply going to increase the number of injuries to non-compliant suspects through the increased use of impact weapons such as batons.

“Finally, the PBA opposes solitary confinement legislation as it will lead to far more violence in correctional institutions as this approach is focused primarily on protective custody. The carnage will be far greater in the general prison population if inmates are not separated from their enemies.  More importantly, it would put correctional officers at a significantly greater risk when they have to intervene.

“Before we are accused of being an obstacle to reforms we want to be very clear that the PBA has put forth various reforms in contract talks with the city.  These include residency requirements, officer evaluations and various training in a wide range of areas.

“Unfortunately, the city has refused to engage in any substantive collective bargaining discussions citing the pandemic.  Perhaps now that the city has experienced a financial windfall from the federal bailout, we can discuss these matters, including reforms in a meaningful matter.

“The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association has consistently communicated a willingness to participate in discussions and efforts to enhance policing to better serve the community.  If the PBA is not going to be engaged in this process, then the reforms in the proposed plan that require our support will not be forthcoming.”

Buffalo PBA President John Evans

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says the list of recommendations was created by a variety of groups including community advocated, criminal justice reform experts and representatives from the District Attorney’s office. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says a retired state trooper and a retired Buffalo police officer were part of the discussions. He adds that the city will be negotiating separately with the police union on the reform recommendations.

“What people see in the resolution and what they see in the report that we submit to the state, is not the end of the process. It is a step in the process,” Brown said.