BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Today is the first day the new police reforms in the City of Buffalo are in effect.
Some of the changes that start today include, anyone pulled over will receive a stop receipt that will tell them why they were pulled over, and officers will issue an appearance ticket on the spot, which will eliminate arrests for low-level offenses.
John Evans, President of the Buffalo PBA, says there is a lot of gray area on day one of the city’s police reforms.
“The confusing part to that is we need to have low-level offense spelled out. There can’t be a gray area,” Evans said. “How many of these on-site appearance tickets are people with warrants going to skurt? Right because you don’t have a fingerprint machine with you in your vehicle.”
Evans says there are already misconceptions about the changes — that people will no longer get arrested.
He says while people may not get handcuffed and put in a squad car, there is still a consequence.
“If you don’t have ID you’re going to jail, you know what I mean you’re going to central booking regardless of the crime. They’re not going to take your word for it on the scene,” Evans said.
Evans says only time will tell what impact these changes will have.
“I hope that there is some public education that comes along with these reforms so that they know what to expect. Because that’s really going to deescalate the tensions.”