Buffalo - Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today the official start of the 2018 Clean Sweep initiative. Over the next six months, the Save Our Streets (SOS) Task Force plans to conduct over 30 ‘Clean Sweeps’ to assist in the delivery of services throughout the City of Buffalo. John Dunmore was introduced as the new SOS Task Force Coordinator. Mayor Brown was also joined by Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood to announce the start of a new Buffalo Police Department Community Policing initiative that will take place over the next 100 days. It’s called BPD NET (Neighborhood Engagement Team).
“I am proud of the continued collaboration between so many community partners and commend the efforts of Clean Sweep participants to improve the overall quality of life in Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “We’ve made it a priority to address blight and quality of life issues in each City Council District and I look forward to beginning another year of Clean Sweeps for the benefit of our residents and their neighborhoods. I also look forward to the BPD NET initiative which is an expansion of BPD’s Community Policing program. The concept is simple: the more familiar residents of all ages get with officers patrolling their neighborhood, the stronger the relationships they’ll have”.
Throughout the 2018 Clean Sweep season, the SOS Task Force will offer essential quality of life services to residents including: dental services, health insurance enrollment, homeless outreach, fire prevention education, disaster preparedness, mental health services, youth and senior programming information, employment and training referrals, tree trimming, boarding and demolishing vacant homes, removing debris and abandoned tires, filling potholes, cleaning sewer receivers, offering 311 information to assist in addressing neighborhood complaints.
The Save Our Streets Task Force is part of the Division of Citizen Services, and is comprised of various City, County, State, Federal, government, not for profit and private agencies tasked with the mission to fight the war of blight and crime. More than 100 participants, representing 25 agencies and law enforcement organizations, took part in today’s quality of life event, including some new participants: Community Health Center of WNY, WNY Kidney Association, Kaleida Health, University Heights Tool Library, Light House Free Medical Clinic and 211.
Today’s Clean Sweep kick-off also included a dozen members of the newly formed BPD NET (Neighborhood Engagement Team), who wore uniforms similar to the police bike patrol attire. Over a 100 day period, more than a dozen officers who make up BPD NET will spend approximately two weeks in a number of designated neighborhoods, engaging the community and further strengthening the relationship between police officers and residents. They will provide high visibility foot and mobile patrols, address problem areas and problem properties, Work with the Dept. of Community Services’ Division of Citizen Services, District Community Police Officers and School Resource Officers, Dept. of Permit and Inspections, and Dept. of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, as well as the Police Athletic League of Buffalo.
The Clean Sweeps program began during the time of Mayor Brown’s predecessor, Mayor Anthony Masiello. Since taking office, Mayor Brown has expanded the scope and impact of the Save Our Streets Task Force, which will result in over 300 neighborhood clean sweeps since 2006, by the end of this year.