About one third of Buffalo Police Department vehicles are off the road. Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President, John Evans, has sent numerous letters to the Common Council trying to the correct the problem, quoted, "This has become an officer safety issue."
“It’s impossible to run one man cars, we don’t have enough vehicles, they’ve just eroded to the point where everyone is doubled up," Evans said. “And they’re running 24/7, because they’re in the district they’re running around the clock, shift to shift, to shift.”
7 Eyewitness News sources at the police garage on Seneca Street say that the garage is swamped with vehicles with not enough mechanics to work on them. And that these vehicles are supposed to be serviced every 3,000 miles, which isn't happening.
“[We get] complaints from the officers, saying hey, we need vehicles, we want to work," Evans said.
Evans says the Chevy Tahoe's all had broken air conditioning units by the end of last year, and he was surprised there wasn't a national recall. Other cars are going into the garage with over 200,000 miles on a consistent basis.
The turnover time once the cars get into the police garage can take up to three weeks, which has caused many officers to be assigned to two per car.
“Now there’s two in a car, so there’s that many fewer vehicles in service and you’re getting to the call and it’s an hour old and the citizens are angry, understandably," Evans said.
The Buffalo Police Department tells 7 Eyewitness News reached that 2/3 of the police vehicles have been replaced since 2014. There is a plan in place to add 40 vehicles come the spring via the capital budget or a request for proposal.