BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Two local state lawmakers are trying to bring back the residency rule for Buffalo Police, but the the police union is fighting it, especially in light of a rash of recent shootings.
Up until a year ago, there was a residency rule requiring new Buffalo Police recruits to live in the city for their first seven years on the force. But when the police union contract expired last July, that rule expired with it.
“We’re adamantly opposed to any type of residency.”
Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans is reacting to the fact that Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Tim Kennedy are proposing a law that would allow the city to bring back a residency rule for new recruits on the theory that, when police officers are also residents of the municipality they serve, they are more familiar, committed, and accountable to the community.
Evans says more than half of already do live in the city but adds that it shouldn’t be mandated.
“The current atmosphere which is so anti-cop does not make it a comfortable place to raise a family and obviously with the uptick in shootings and murders, it’s not a place where you’d want to raise a family,” he added.
Since January 1, 160 people have been shot in Buffalo, a 67% increase in shootings compared to the same period last year.
Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says, “not a lot of them have been solved in terms of an arrest being made. In a high majority of these cases, these are targeted events. The victims themselves often times are not very cooperative with police. They’re concerned that their own criminal conduct might come to light so they don’t want the police investigating this.”
But Rinaldo encourages anyone with even the smallest clue to call police with information.
“This violence affects everyone because any person could have information that could’ve prevented the next shooting,” Rinaldo added.