© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Buffalo Police to implement Language Access Plan

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Buffalo Police Department will soon have a plan in place to respond to residents who have limited English language skills. The program will give police and residents access to a network of services that may handle more than 200 different languages.

Buffalo Police officers will carry cards with numerous samples of language that they'll use to help residents identify their first language. If the need for an interpreter if determined, officers and residents will have access to various options.

"It will use the language line telephone service, bilingual Buffalo Police Department members, civilian interpreters and professional contract services including in-person interpretation," said Mayor Byron Brown.

The plan is scheduled for full implementation on March 15.

Mayor Brown says the plan was formed after more than 50 representatives of the local immigrant and refugee communities came forward several months ago with a proposal.

Interpreter services were needed more than 900 times last year and the need is expected to rise. According to Mayor Brown, the city is projecting its first population increase since 1950 when the US Census for year 2020 is completed.

"While there are a lot of contributing factors to that, one of the factors is the growing presence of immigrants and refugees in our city," Brown said. 


Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
Related Content