Buffalo rolls out new anti-crime efforts

Feb 24, 2014

New public safety initiatives are set to be rolled out this year in the City of Buffalo, some of which are likely to raise privacy concerns.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says 49 new Tahoes will be driven by Buffalo Police officers.
Credit Chris Caya/wbfo news

More surveillance cameras will be going up in the coming months and Mayor Byron Brown says six license plate readers will be installed in targeted sections of the city. Brown says they will only be used for crime detection.

"We already have them in police vehicles throughout the city of Buffalo. So it's not new to the city," Brown said.

"What's different is that these will be fixed and placed on poles. It's already been approved by the city council,"

Lawmakers also approved new vehicles that will bring a new look for the Buffalo Police Department. Commissioner Daniel Derenda says 49 Chevrolet Tahoes will soon be on the streets.

"We went to the black and white design. We believe it's more visible, more recognizable to the public," Derenda said. 

Derenda says the SUVs get better gas mileage than the cars they're replacing and they cost less than some sedans.

The Chief has also given the okay for officers to start carrying the drug Narcan.

"It's a nasal spray. Basically it's an antidote for heroin overdoses. We've seen a nationwide epidemic of heroin overdoses. It's hitting Buffalo. It's hitting the suburbs," Derenda said.

"If somebody's overdosing this could save their life."

So far this year in the City of Buffalo alone, Derenda says there have been nine overdose deaths linked to heroin.