The Buffalo Police Department announced that it is shutting down its traffic department.

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The Buffalo Police Department is closing its traffic department, according to WIVB. The unit is responsible for providing police officers to enforce traffic laws during parades and big events. The 50 officers in the unit will be reassigned to other units around Buffalo.

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BPD Captain Jeff Rinaldo says that the change is due to the cancellation of events due to COVID-19, according to Radio.com,

"There were no sporting events, special events, none of the things the traffic division normally handles for the department. Due to COVID and increased expenses, the commissioner has chosen to eliminate the traffic division to help reduce overtime costs and increase manpower in the five districts."

While the cancelling of events may be one of the motivations for eliminating the traffic unit, saving money is another. The Department could save up to $1 million according to Rinaldo. The change will take effect on January 18, 2021. Rinaldo told Radio.com that if events come back, which they undoubtedly will with the approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the Department will revisit its decision.

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