Local Lawmakers Propose the Return of Residency Requirements for Buffalo Police
There used to be a Residency requirement within the City of Buffalo such that all new Officers must live in the City of Buffalo to be employed, but according to WGRZ, that policy ended last year when the City and Police Union contract expired. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and State Senator Tim Kennedy are the two lawmakers who initiated the proposed legislation, according to WGRZ. The proposal would only apply to new Officers. Officers already active will not need to relocate.
Pastor Darius Pridgen is in favor of the proposal, according to WGRZ News:
"We have actually had two classes of police officers go through the academy who don't have that requirement, that residency requirement, and I think that especially as we talk about a more public safety type of force and just so the police officers identify with the City of Buffalo and where they live. I can tell you especially during times people being very clear about police reforms this is one of the areas that people have asked us to look into and to make changes, at the end of the day I don’t think it will be a slow-moving train I think you’ll see the conversations ramp up rather rapidly."
The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association (PBA) is not in favor of the proposal saying that Police Officers are individuals with rights and should be able to live wherever they want, according to a WGRZ News report. against a permanent residency requirement for new officers, citing safety reasons. The PBA says about 40 percent of their officers live outside of Buffalo.