‘Right To Know’ Bill Passed by Buffalo Common Council
In what appears to be an effort to increase transparency in the Buffalo Police Department, the City of Buffalo Common Council passed a new bill that will require officers from the BPD to identify themselves in a new way.
According to a report by WKBW-TV, The Right To Know Law will require Buffalo Police Department officers to carry and provide upon demand, business, or contact cards, that include, the name, rank, badge number, and command the officer is assigned to.
The card will also include the address and phone number for the City of Buffalo's Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations, along with the address and phone number for the Buffalo Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit where comments and/or complaints can be submitted.
This bill also codifies the requirement that officers in Buffalo issue Stop Receipts. In addition to the stop receipts, all officers would be required to have their name and badge number on the outside of their uniform, identify themselves by name and give their rank and command. On top of these requirements, officers will also have to provide someone, either verbal or written, with an explanation of why there were stopped.
Officials have stated this Right to Know law is modeled after similar laws that have been passed in other cities in New York State like Syracuse and NYC.
The current bill passed by a vote of 7 to 2. Councilmembers Bollman, Feroleto, Nowakowski, Pridgen, Rivera, Wingo Sr., and Wyatt voted for the measure, while Councilmembers Golombek Jr. and Scanlon voted against it.
You can find out more information about the Right to Know bill here on the City of Buffalo Common Council website. You can also read a copy of the bill here.