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Buffalo to purchase 40 patrol cars, but PBA says it's not enough

Mike Desmond
Buffalo Police patrol cars sit at the Seneca Street garage.

Buffalo Police need new cars, a lot of new cars. That is from Police Benevolent Association President John Evans, who has been complaining for a while that the city has to buy more patrol cars and make sure they are properly maintained. He says the city isn't doing either.

Evans says the department currently needs about 60 cars. There are 20 patrol cars coming and 20 more in the capital budget for next year. City officials say in the last five years, the city has purchased 185 marked and unmarked cars.

The cars take a beating and the number waiting for repair at the police garage on Seneca Street are apparent from the street. Evans said it leaves officers without cars, like just the other day.

"We had an incident where there was a Priority One, shots fired call. This is up in E District," He said. "We had another accident in E District where phone poles were down, so you had arcing electrical wire."

Evan said all seven E District cars were tied up during those events and it was very difficult to get cars from other districts because they are just as short or cars are just as busy. The challenge becomes greater when there is a double shift of officers.

"Yeah, the station house is waiting for a car to become available, from the prior shift," he said. "Lot of times there is a tripling and sometimes they are going four in a car, which is again ridiculous."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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