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Buffalo police brass discuss proposed department reforms

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Posted at 4:21 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 16:21:02-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Luz Velez has lived on Buffalo’s west side since 1980.

“There’s great people. I fit in,” the 59-year-old explained.

She said she’s passionate about her community and about public safety, which is why she was interested in Buffalo Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee Wednesday Meeting. It was the committee's first meeting since the city submitted its police reform plan to the state.

Top police officials, including Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, offered an update to the committee about some reforms happening within the department.

They discussed a diversion program being tested where mental health calls are transferred from 911 to a crisis service hot line. However, officials said mental health specialists are currently only scheduled during the week.

COMMON COUNCIL PRESIDENT DARIUS PRIDGEN: When things occur on the weekends, what happens?
BUFFALO POLICE CAPTAIN AMER BEYER: The Commissioner does have the ability to call in a team. They’re less accessible and available for an immediate crisis situation.

The next Police Oversight Committee meeting isn’t schedule until July 31.