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Buffalo becomes largest accredited city police department in NYS

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Buffalo Police video
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Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood receives the accreditation from the state.

The Buffalo Police Department has been awarded full accreditation from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Accreditation Council. That makes Buffalo the largest accredited municipal law enforcement agency in the state.

Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood was joined by two deputies, Joe Gramaglia and Barbara Lark, and other members of the BPD management team in Albany for the presentation Thursday.

"What the accreditation does is ensure that the Buffalo Police Department folows the same set of standards that are set out by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services and followed by every accredited agency in New York State State," said BPD Chief of Staff Capt. Jeff Rinaldo. "It gives a blueprint for how the department should be operated and it's a best-practice concept for all of our policies and procedures and how we manage our department as a whole."

Rinaldo said every new policy or procedure must conform to accreditation standards for how it must be written, how it must be applied and how training must be conducted.

Several factors were cited in reaching the achievement, including the consolidation of police and fire headquarters into the Michael J. Dillon Federal Courthouse, increased community policing initiatives, requiring new hires to live within the city limits, the pending implementation of body cameras and updating vehicles in the police fleet.

The accreditation is for five years.

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Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.