“Strong neighborhoods are essential to the quality of life we enjoy in Buffalo and I continue my commitment to creating a City with great opportunities for every resident in every neighborhood. We’re fixing streets and parks, making sure every neighborhood is safe, supporting arts and culture, and investing in the programs to help make our children successful.”
-Mayor Byron W. Brown
Developing Good Working Relationships with Citizen Volunteer Groups
Mayor Byron Brown has implemented a number of plans to improve policing and better serve the needs of everyone in the city. There’s a strong emphasis placed on reestablishing community policing to improve dialogue between our community and police officers. Mayor Brown’s administration also negotiated residency requirements for police officers, encouraging officers to live in the communities they serve. Monthly meetings are held at each district police station, as well as regular meetings with the Concerned Clergy Coalition of WNY, and block club leaders.
To cultivate a working relationship with the people of Buffalo and encourage more people to organize and advocate for issues that they are passionate about, the City of Buffalo has launched a Citizen’s Participation Academy to provide participants with a better understanding of local government and to encourage continuous involvement, enhance residents’ ability to navigate through the complex system of government services, and provide an avenue for open communication with City officials.
The City’s Chief Service Officer, Oswaldo Mestre Jr., leads the Division of Citizen Services as it continues to build capacity with residents and block clubs, to consolidate all citizen engagement initiatives under one office, and make sure the City has a platform of service to others and impact volunteerism within the city of Buffalo. The City’s Citizen Engagement Programs include: the Anti-Graffiti and Clean City Program, Mayor’s Impact Team, Urban Fellows Internship Program, and Serve Buffalo & Love Your Block.
Improving Community Trust
Buffalo's overall crime rate has dropped 40 percent since 2006, while violent crime is down 28 percent for that same period. From Mayor Brown’s Zero Tolerance policing policy, to beefing up the Buffalo Police narcotics division, to adding more surveillance cameras, to removing tens of thousands of illegal guns from our streets, the Brown Administration’s strategies are producing results.
Buffalo Police 21st Century Policing
In 2015, Mayor Brown introduced the ground-breaking ‘Buffalo Police Department: 21st Century’ scholarship program (BPD21C). BPD21C, a bold, creative and unique, first-of-its-kind program, is fostering an even stronger guardian mindset of our police in Buffalo. BPD21C is revolutionizing community-based policing and the City is actively recruiting and educating a diverse and talented group of future police officers who reflect our City’s demographics. To date, 28 of these officers have completed the program.
Under Mayor Byron Brown’s direction, the City of Buffalo continues to fund the Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program. The Peacemakers help defuse potentially violent situations and work with residents and law enforcement to make our community safer.
Investing in First Responders
Since 2006, Mayor Byron Brown has invested significant funds in both police and fire technology, training, equipment and resources. Under his direction, he introduced new black and white police vehicles, built to be versatile for a wide range of tasks. He added new firefighters, replaced the entire firefighting fleet, and opened three new fire houses.
In his 2018 Capital Budget, which was approved by the Buffalo Common Council in December, the Mayor included $5 million for design and construction of a new fire station, $1.2 million for physical improvements to existing firehouses, $950,000 for new fire apparatus.
BPD NET (Neighborhood Engagement Team)
In Spring 2018, Mayor Byron Brown and Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood launched a new community policing 100 day detail called BPD NET (Neighborhood Engagement Team). This special group of dedicated officers will help further strengthen community and police relations by employing additional focused community policing methods in targeted neighborhoods, which can mean anything from cookouts or special events like kickball tournaments to just simply walking the beat.
Coffee with a Cop
In October 2017, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Buffalo Police launched ‘Coffee with a Cop’ day in the City of Buffalo, an event that is part of a national law enforcement program that brings police officers and the community members they serve together—over coffee—to discuss community topics, learn more about each other and build relationships in an informal, positive environment.
Police Officer Body Cameras
In 2017, the Brown administration began a pilot police officer body camera program. A group of Buffalo Police officers are testing out several body cam models while on duty. In 2018, law enforcement officials will evaluate the results, and make recommendations for the purchase of specific cameras for all officers.
Heroin Addiction and Overdoses
Under Mayor Byron Brown’s direction, Buffalo was the first city in the region to equip its police and firefighters with Narcan – an overdose drug reversal medication - which was implemented to fight addictions, reduce overdose deaths, and save lives.
Expanding Opportunities for Youth
Investing in Summer Jobs and Life Skills Training
For the past 12 years, the Brown administration has focused on economic development and job readiness, partnering with organizations like the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. Since 2006, the Brown administration has spent more than $10 million to create 22,000 meaningful job opportunities for our City’s young people through Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Employment and Internship program. In 2018, 1,700 are expected to take part in the paid internship program, the largest group to date.
Investing in Improved Attendance and Graduation Rates
- A good education is important to our young people having a good future. Working with the Buffalo Common Council, the Brown Administration provided $2.3 million in funds to Say Yes Buffalo for scholarships and academic support.
- Since the launch of ‘Say Yes Buffalo’ in 2012, the graduation rate from Buffalo Public Schools is up 15 points, to 64%, according to the Buffalo Public School District. The most dramatic improvement in graduation rates have been among our African-American and Hispanic students.
- To date, Say Yes Buffalo’ has awarded nearly 4,000 tuition scholarships
Investing in increased Literacy
This year, a record of over 2,000 students, in grades K-12, successfully completed Mayor Byron Brown’s 17thannual Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge. Mayor Brown started the program 17 years ago when he was a New York State senator to help increase literacy in the Buffalo area. During his tenure as Mayor, nearly 17,000 Champion Readers in Buffalo have completed the challenge since 2006.
Infrastructure and Demolitions
Over the past 12 years, the Brown administration has invested over $530 million on infrastructure projects citywide, allocated over $100 million dollars to demolish more than 5,700 blighted properties, and improved dozens of neighborhoods after conducting more than 300 Clean Sweeps, including a record-setting 32 Clean Sweeps in 2017.
Buffalo’s beautiful network of parks continues to set standards of excellence, something our residents have come to expect and deserve. The Guardian named Olmsted Park system as one of the top 10 parks in the world, while the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the Great Places in America.
Since 2010, the City has spent $28 million in capital brick and mortar improvements in the Olmsted Parks. Since 2006, it invested over $66 million in parks citywide. The City’s 2018 Capital Budget includes nearly $1.6 million in additional park investment.
Increased Housing Incentives
Since 2006, the Brown Administration has invested over $39 million in affordable housing, an investment that has leveraged over $358 million in residential development. Buffalo’s investments in affordable housing have provided more than 2,000 new affordable homes since Mayor Brown took office – progress that is continuing with the support of state funding.
Knowing the city is home to invaluable assets like major universities, colleges, and health systems, Mayor Byron Brown has spearheaded groundbreaking health and fitness initiatives with participating anchor institutions to promote awareness about healthy living and healthy lifestyles.
Buffalo is building a reputation as a welcoming city, through the creation of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans and the recent release of the “The New Americans Study”. The study will further strengthen Buffalo as a place of economic opportunity and inclusion.
The City of Buffalo’s first Bicycle Master Plan, released on May 6, 2016, supports Mayor Brown’s vision of becoming a world-class bicycling community. The City of Buffalo has developed over 110 miles of bicycle lanes as a result of Mayor Brown’s commitment to create over 10 new bicycle lanes per year in an effort to become a nationally recognized ‘Bicycle Friendly Community. In 2018, another $380,000 in capital dollars will be dedicated to bike lane expansion.
The City of Buffalo has spent nearly $6 million on energy efficiency measures at over 56 city-owned facilities, with anticipated energy cost savings of $819,540; implemented complete street, traffic signal improvements and smart growth policies designed to encourage energy smart transportation; upgraded its downtown district energy system; and removed barriers to private renewable energy generation through the green code. In addition, Buffalo Water is currently completing an Energy Performance Contract with a total investment of $14 million which will yield approximately $490,000 in annual energy savings, while the Buffalo Sewer Authority has spent over $20 million in energy upgrades over the last 9 years that have cut natural gas usage and reduced electrical usage.
34 and More Buffalo Recycles
34 and More is the city’s first ever public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging city residents and visitors to make recycling a priority. In 2011, the recycling rate in Buffalo was 11%. Today – as a result of 34 and More Buffalo Recycles, city residents reached a recycling rate of 28.3%…closing in on Mayor Brown’s goal of 34% recycling by the end of 2018.