BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–As new police reforms take effect in Buffalo this week, the Common Council Police Oversight Committee will meet to hear people’s concerns.
“To hear that there’s no oversight I laugh, I say no maybe the public’s not aware of the intense scrutiny officers are under.”
John Evans, President of the Buffalo PBA says there are several agencies that investigate the Buffalo Police Department when a complaint is made.
He says that includes the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the US Attorney’s Office.
“They have the FBI which has countless resources to investigate and that’s what they do and they all have teeth,” Evans added.
He also points out the department’s Internal Affairs Unit, which he says consists of two officers, lieutenants, a captain, and an inspector.
But some councilmembers have their concerns.
Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt says, “Some of the information I’ve been getting as far as the Internal Affairs Unit of the police department and their percentage of ruling in favor of police speaks volumes. I can’t say if it’s true or false the only thing I can say is that there’s nothing that’s perfection.”
Wyatt says people don’t feel their voice is heard when they file a complaint with internal affairs.
He’s created a resolution to form a citizens review board.
“My intent on this is to make certain that the community hears us loud and clear and that we hear them and that there’s a process put in place to again give them the confidence that their voice is not being ignored,” Wyatt added.
Councilmember Chris Scanlon says he doesn’t think creating another board is necessary, but he says they should give the current advisory boards and committees more teeth.
The Police Oversight Committee has a meeting Thursday. They will be virtually at 11 a.m.