Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by New Yorkers against Gun Violence and other peace advocates, proclaimed Friday, June 7, 2019 as Gun Violence Awareness Day, as part of a national movement to honor a Chicago teenager named Hadiya Pendleton who was killed within weeks
of marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. He also recognized Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood, Deputy Police Commissioners Joe Gramaglia and Barbara Lark,
and the entire Buffalo Police Department for achieving his goal of having the Buffalo Police Department awarded full accreditation from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Accreditation Council, making the BPD the largest City accredited law enforcement agency in New York State.
“Today, the Buffalo Police Department stands proud as the largest City accredited law enforcement agency in New York State,” said Mayor Brown. “This significant professional achievement is a statement of acknowledgement that the Buffalo Police Department has done the hard work and implemented the policies and practices established by the Council in the areas of administration, training and operations. We hope this milestone gives residents and visitors a renewed sense of confidence in that the BPD is now in compliance with the ‘gold standard of law enforcement’ in New York State. Achieving accreditation
is another positive step forward, and builds on our continuing efforts to revolutionize community-based policing that will foster an even stronger guardian mindset of our police.”
As part of the accreditation process, Buffalo highlighted recent efforts and initiatives that have made a difference, including:
Commissioner Lockwood stated, “Achieving full accreditation was one of the first tasks Mayor Brown assigned me, when he named me Police Commissioner in 2018. We knew it would take a lot of hard and time-consuming work, but with the support of my leadership team and a full commitment from all, I’m pleased to say we accomplished our goal.”
As part of National Gun Violence Awareness Day activities in Buffalo, Mayor Brown asked everyone who believes we can do more to save American lives from gun violence to do one simple thing: Wear Orange on the 5th annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day – and throughout the weekend - in the largest- ever show of support for this issue.
“Today, we wear orange, the protective color hunters wear, symbolizing the value of human life,” continued Mayor Brown, who also directed the top of Buffalo City Hall be lit Orange and encouraged the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team, which operates historic buildings and structures citywide, to light in the same color. “Buffalo’s skyline will be lit orange tonight, further demonstrating our entire City’s commitment to ending gun violence.”
In addition, Mayor Brown announced that overall crimes, particularly gun violence, dropped significantly as of this date, compared to last year, reflecting progress from a number of new initiatives spearheaded by BPD, including the BPD Neighborhood Engagement Team and new Gun Violence Unit, to stabilize neighborhoods that experience a higher level of crime.
“Every City resident, regardless of which neighborhood they are in, deserves to be safe in our City,” said Mayor Brown. “Since taking office, I have been focused on strengthening ties with our communities, and continuing important reforms to the Department. We have a lot of work still to do, but I am encouraged by the progress we have made.”
The latest numbers compared to this time last year are as follows:
BPD has removed about 16,000 illegal guns since 2006.
At today’s press conference, Mayor Brown also encouraged City residents to watch a special City of Buffalo Government Channel Documentary, which highlights how young people who live in the Buffalo area continue to unite against gun violence. The video was videotaped and edited, under the direction of Cardinale Green, the Director of the Apollo Media Center in Buffalo, and Grammy award-winning veteran photographer, Tom Vetter. To view the video, go to Channel 1304 or visit www.bwhli.com. Gun Violence Awareness Day falls on the first Friday of June each year, near the June 2 birthday of
Hadiya Pendleton. In addition to Mayor Brown, members of the Buffalo Police Department, New Yorkers against Gun Violence and others attended today’s proclamation ceremony.