Free The People WNY

Defund the Police: Toolkit

Defund the Police: Toolkit

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Demands

  1. The new police contract must have no extra protections for BPD officers from being disciplined for misconduct beyond what is required by state law
  2. The new police contract must stipulate that officers are promoted based on merit, not on seniority, and must conduct quarterly performance reviews
  3. The new contract must reform overtime and court pay and stipulate that all new officers must be city residents for the duration of their employment
  4. Common Council must make the final proposed contract public at least a month before they vote to approve it and in that time must hold at least 3 public hearings to get community feedback

IDEAS AND METHODS

Below are Free the People’s initial ideas for how we can start dismantling the oppressive policing structure we have and begin to invest in true public safety through community supports.

IMMEDIATE CUTS

PRIORITY INVESTMENTS

Cars And Equipment

Traffic-calming Infrastructure

  • Deny BPD July 14 request of $350,000 for “take home vehicles.”
  • Refuse to fund new weapons, cars, or equipment
  • Invest in speed bumps, chicanes and other measures by working with the city’s Slow Streets program & Public Works
  • Move at least $6 million from the police budget to Public Works for this purpose in 2021.

Traffic

Youth Employment & Education

  • Remove police from traffic enforcement.
  • Utilize traffic-calming infrastructure to make roads safer
  • Assign other traffic duties to unarmed city employees, not police
  • After-school and summer youth programs like Mayor’s Summer Youth significantly reduce youth crime
  • The entire Youth Services Division budget is only $3.3 million and serves a tiny fraction of the city’s youth
  • Move at least $5 million from the police into youth services in 2021.

Overtime

LEAD & Behavioral Health Services

  • Court and overtime pay account for over $10 million of BPD approved budget. Lawmakers must cut this line item and re-negotiate the union contract for common sense reforms to overtime and court time pay rules.

 

  • Fully fund a LEAD pilot program in B District for 2021 by moving $200,000 from the police budget to this program. Over time the city must stop criminalizing personal drug use and invest in proven programs to support mental health.

LONG-TERM CUTS

Personnel

Violence Interruption Programs

  • Over 81% of the police budget goes directly to salaries for Public Safety officers.
  • Buffalo has an above-average number of officers for a city its size (27.8 officers for every 10,000 residents, compared to the national average of 18.7).
  • Institute a hiring freeze to reduce officer numbers & independent civilian oversight to fire officers who abuse their power.
  • Fully fund existing violence interruption programs
  • Provide new grants to community groups with innovative ideas for stopping violence in their communities using restorative practices, community agreements, environmental design and other community-driven ideas.
$ 0
In new funds for BPD in 2020
$ 1 M
Cut from BPD before any cuts to other city depts
1 %
Budget reduction in 2021 BPD budget

ACTION: TOOLKIT

"Defunding The Police" Questionnaire

The Buffalo Common Council adopted a resolution titled “Defunding Police Forum” on June 23, 2020. This resolution calls on the Council to create a system to collect and compile written input from stakeholders on their ideas of reallocating funds in the city’s upcoming operating budget. Not sure what to write? Check out some of the ideas from the list of ideas above. Let us know your other ideas by leaving us a message on our contact page!

By taking the time to fill out this questionnaire, you are participating in a budgetary process that aims to make positive changes to The City of Buffalo’s budget.

Call, Email, Tweet at government officials

During COVID one of the only way elected officials hear from their representatives are by phone, email and social media, so this is how city legislatures hear from YOU what matters to YOU

Call or email Corporate Counsel (the City’s lawyer) Tim Ball:

Phone: (716) 851-4343
Email: tball@city-buffalo.com 

As a Buffalo resident, I’m very concerned about a police contract being negotiated with no public input at all. In your negotiations with the police union we need the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

We need the police and its union to understand that they work for us, the people, and we will not accept an agreement that allows police officers to abuse us and our tax dollars and get away with it. I’m asking you to stand strong on these demands and refuse to accept any contract that doesn’t meet these basic requirements. Thank you.•

Call, Email, And Tweet At The Common Council And Mayor Brown!

Identify your council district:

Select your council Member:

District Representative Phone Number Email Twitter Handle
Masten District
Ulysees Wingo
(716) 851-5145
uwingo@city-buffalo.com
@uwingosr
Ellicott District
Darius Pridgen
(716) 851-4980
dpridgen@city-buffalo.com
@DariusPridgena
Fillmore District
Mitch Nowakowski
(716) 851-4138
mnowakowski@city-buffalo.com
@MitchNowakowski
University District
Rasheed Wyatt
(716) 851-5165
rwyatt@city-buffalo.com
@RasheedWyatt
Niagara District
David Rivera
(716) 851-5125
darivera@city-buffalo.com
N/A
South District
Christopher Scanlon
(716) 851-5169
cscanlon@city-buffalo.com
@CMChrisScanlo
Delaware District
Joel Feroleto
(716) 851-5155
jferoleto@city-buffalo.com
@JoelFeroleto
Lovejoy District
Bryan Bollaman
(716) 851-5151
bbollman@city-buffalo.com
@Bollman4Lovejoy
North District
Joseph Golombek
(716) 851-5116
jgolombek@city-buffalo.com
@golombek4reform
All Districts
Council Staff
(716) 851-5105
N/A
@BFLO_CC
Mayor’s Office
Byron Brown
(716) 851-4866* (Executive assistant)
mayor@city-buffalo.com
@MayorByronBrown

Sample Script

Hi, Councilman/Mayor ________. My name is _______ and I live in the _____ district and I’m contacting you regarding the city of Buffalo police contract. 

I’m very concerned about having a contract that gives the police union a lot of decision-making power over how the police act in our city and gives residents no say in the process at all. 

I am asking you to commit to making the proposed contract public at least a month before you vote on it, and in that time to hold at least three public hearings before you vote. In addition, please do not vote to approve any contract without the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

It is totally unfair to residents to have such important decisions about our lives made in the dark with no public input. Please commit to making this process as transparent as possible, and stand strong on these common-sense reforms. Thank you for your time and for your public service.

Sample Tweets

  • @BFLO_CC Residents deserve a voice in police contract negotiations. We are sick of being taken advantage of by the PBA and paying for out-of-control police. Hold public hearings and refuse to approve any new contract without big changes!
  • BPD are paid for 4 hrs of work every time they go to court, even if they stay for 20 min. Last yr Bflo residents paid $10 million+ for PD overtime & court time. It’s almost as if the police contract is weighted in favor of pd making 6 figure salaries off our tax dollars! @BFLO_CC

Demands

  1. The new police contract must have no extra protections for BPD officers from being disciplined for misconduct beyond what is required by state law
  2. The new police contract must stipulate that officers are promoted based on merit, not on seniority, and must conduct quarterly performance reviews
  3. The new contract must reform overtime and court pay and stipulate that all new officers must be city residents for the duration of their employment
  4. Common Council must make the final proposed contract public at least a month before they vote to approve it and in that time must hold at least 3 public hearings to get community feedback

IDEAS AND METHODS

Below are Free the People’s initial ideas for how we can start dismantling the oppressive policing structure we have and begin to invest in true public safety through community supports.

IMMEDIATE CUTS

Cars And Equipment

  • Deny BPD July 14 request of $350,000 for “take home vehicles.”
  • Refuse to fund new weapons, cars, or equipment

Traffic

  • Remove police from traffic enforcement.
  • Utilize traffic-calming infrastructure to make roads safer
  • Assign other traffic duties to unarmed city employees, not police

Overtime

  • Court and overtime pay account for over $10 million of BPD approved budget. Lawmakers must cut this line item and re-negotiate the union contract for common sense reforms to overtime and court time pay rules.

 

PRIORITY INVESTMENTS

Traffic-calming Infrastructure

  • Invest in speed bumps, chicanes and other measures by working with the city’s Slow Streets program & Public Works
  • Move at least $6 million from the police budget to Public Works for this purpose in 2021.

Youth Employment & Education

  • After-school and summer youth programs like Mayor’s Summer Youth significantly reduce youth crime
  • The entire Youth Services Division budget is only $3.3 million and serves a tiny fraction of the city’s youth
  • Move at least $5 million from the police into youth services in 2021.

LEAD & Behavioral Health Services

  • Fully fund a LEAD pilot program in B District for 2021 by moving $200,000 from the police budget to this program. Over time the city must stop criminalizing personal drug use and invest in proven programs to support mental health.

LONG-TERM CUTS

Personnel

  • Over 81% of the police budget goes directly to salaries for Public Safety officers.
  • Buffalo has an above-average number of officers for a city its size (27.8 officers for every 10,000 residents, compared to the national average of 18.7).
  • Institute a hiring freeze to reduce officer numbers & independent civilian oversight to fire officers who abuse their power.

Violence Interruption Programs

  • Fully fund existing violence interruption programs
  • Provide new grants to community groups with innovative ideas for stopping violence in their communities using restorative practices, community agreements, environmental design and other community-driven ideas.
$ 0
In new funds for BPD in 2020
$ 1 M
Cut from BPD before any cuts to other city depts
1 %
Budget reduction in 2021 BPD budget

Demands

  1. The new police contract must have no extra protections for BPD officers from being disciplined for misconduct beyond what is required by state law
  2. The new police contract must stipulate that officers are promoted based on merit, not on seniority, and must conduct quarterly performance reviews
  3. The new contract must reform overtime and court pay and stipulate that all new officers must be city residents for the duration of their employment
  4. Common Council must make the final proposed contract public at least a month before they vote to approve it and in that time must hold at least 3 public hearings to get community feedback

IDEAS AND METHODS

Below are Free the People’s initial ideas for how we can start dismantling the oppressive policing structure we have and begin to invest in true public safety through community supports.

IMMEDIATE CUTS

PRIORITY INVESTMENTS

Cars And Equipment

Traffic-calming Infrastructure

  • Deny BPD July 14 request of $350,000 for “take home vehicles.”
  • Refuse to fund new weapons, cars, or equipment
  • Invest in speed bumps, chicanes and other measures by working with the city’s Slow Streets program & Public Works
  • Move at least $6 million from the police budget to Public Works for this purpose in 2021.

Traffic

Youth Employment & Education

  • Remove police from traffic enforcement.
  • Utilize traffic-calming infrastructure to make roads safer
  • Assign other traffic duties to unarmed city employees, not police
  • After-school and summer youth programs like Mayor’s Summer Youth significantly reduce youth crime
  • The entire Youth Services Division budget is only $3.3 million and serves a tiny fraction of the city’s youth
  • Move at least $5 million from the police into youth services in 2021.

Overtime

LEAD & Behavioral Health Services

  • Court and overtime pay account for over $10 million of BPD approved budget. Lawmakers must cut this line item and re-negotiate the union contract for common sense reforms to overtime and court time pay rules.

 

  • Fully fund a LEAD pilot program in B District for 2021 by moving $200,000 from the police budget to this program. Over time the city must stop criminalizing personal drug use and invest in proven programs to support mental health.

LONG-TERM CUTS

Personnel

Violence Interruption Programs

  • Over 81% of the police budget goes directly to salaries for Public Safety officers.
  • Buffalo has an above-average number of officers for a city its size (27.8 officers for every 10,000 residents, compared to the national average of 18.7).
  • Institute a hiring freeze to reduce officer numbers & independent civilian oversight to fire officers who abuse their power.
  • Fully fund existing violence interruption programs
  • Provide new grants to community groups with innovative ideas for stopping violence in their communities using restorative practices, community agreements, environmental design and other community-driven ideas.
$ 0
In new funds for BPD in 2020
$ 1 M
Cut from BPD before any cuts to other city depts
1 %
Budget reduction in 2021 BPD budget

ACTION: TOOLKIT

"Defunding The Police" Questionnaire

The Buffalo Common Council adopted a resolution titled “Defunding Police Forum” on June 23, 2020. This resolution calls on the Council to create a system to collect and compile written input from stakeholders on their ideas of reallocating funds in the city’s upcoming operating budget. Not sure what to write? Check out some of the ideas from the list of ideas above. Let us know your other ideas by leaving us a message on our contact page!

By taking the time to fill out this questionnaire, you are participating in a budgetary process that aims to make positive changes to The City of Buffalo’s budget.

Call, Email, Tweet at government officials

During COVID one of the only way elected officials hear from their representatives are by phone, email and social media, so this is how city legislatures hear from YOU what matters to YOU

Call or email Corporate Counsel (the City’s lawyer) Tim Ball:

Phone: (716) 851-4343
Email: tball@city-buffalo.com 

As a Buffalo resident, I’m very concerned about a police contract being negotiated with no public input at all. In your negotiations with the police union we need the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

We need the police and its union to understand that they work for us, the people, and we will not accept an agreement that allows police officers to abuse us and our tax dollars and get away with it. I’m asking you to stand strong on these demands and refuse to accept any contract that doesn’t meet these basic requirements. Thank you.•

Call, Email, And Tweet At The Common Council And Mayor Brown!

Identify your council district:

Select your council Member:

District Representative Phone Number Email Twitter Handle
Masten District
Ulysees Wingo
(716) 851-5145
uwingo@city-buffalo.com
@uwingosr
Ellicott District
Darius Pridgen
(716) 851-4980
dpridgen@city-buffalo.com
@DariusPridgena
Fillmore District
Mitch Nowakowski
(716) 851-4138
mnowakowski@city-buffalo.com
@MitchNowakowski
University District
Rasheed Wyatt
(716) 851-5165
rwyatt@city-buffalo.com
@RasheedWyatt
Niagara District
David Rivera
(716) 851-5125
darivera@city-buffalo.com
N/A
South District
Christopher Scanlon
(716) 851-5169
cscanlon@city-buffalo.com
@CMChrisScanlo
Delaware District
Joel Feroleto
(716) 851-5155
jferoleto@city-buffalo.com
@JoelFeroleto
Lovejoy District
Bryan Bollaman
(716) 851-5151
bbollman@city-buffalo.com
@Bollman4Lovejoy
North District
Joseph Golombek
(716) 851-5116
jgolombek@city-buffalo.com
@golombek4reform
All Districts
Council Staff
(716) 851-5105
N/A
@BFLO_CC
Mayor’s Office
Byron Brown
(716) 851-4866* (Executive assistant)
mayor@city-buffalo.com
@MayorByronBrown

Sample Script

Hi, Councilman/Mayor ________. My name is _______ and I live in the _____ district and I’m contacting you regarding the city of Buffalo police contract. 

I’m very concerned about having a contract that gives the police union a lot of decision-making power over how the police act in our city and gives residents no say in the process at all. 

I am asking you to commit to making the proposed contract public at least a month before you vote on it, and in that time to hold at least three public hearings before you vote. In addition, please do not vote to approve any contract without the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

It is totally unfair to residents to have such important decisions about our lives made in the dark with no public input. Please commit to making this process as transparent as possible, and stand strong on these common-sense reforms. Thank you for your time and for your public service.

Sample Tweets

  • @BFLO_CC Residents deserve a voice in police contract negotiations. We are sick of being taken advantage of by the PBA and paying for out-of-control police. Hold public hearings and refuse to approve any new contract without big changes!
  • BPD are paid for 4 hrs of work every time they go to court, even if they stay for 20 min. Last yr Bflo residents paid $10 million+ for PD overtime & court time. It’s almost as if the police contract is weighted in favor of pd making 6 figure salaries off our tax dollars! @BFLO_CC

ACTION: TOOLKIT

"Defunding The Police" Questionnaire

The Buffalo Common Council adopted a resolution titled “Defunding Police Forum” on June 23, 2020. This resolution calls on the Council to create a system to collect and compile written input from stakeholders on their ideas of reallocating funds in the city’s upcoming operating budget. Not sure what to write? Check out some of the ideas from the list of ideas above. Let us know your other ideas by leaving us a message on our contact page!

By taking the time to fill out this questionnaire, you are participating in a budgetary process that aims to make positive changes to The City of Buffalo’s budget.

Call, Email, Tweet at government officials

During COVID one of the only way elected officials hear from their representatives are by phone, email and social media, so this is how city legislatures hear from YOU what matters to YOU

Call or email Corporate Counsel (the City’s lawyer) Tim Ball:

Phone: (716) 851-4343
Email: tball@city-buffalo.com 

As a Buffalo resident, I’m very concerned about a police contract being negotiated with no public input at all. In your negotiations with the police union we need the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

We need the police and its union to understand that they work for us, the people, and we will not accept an agreement that allows police officers to abuse us and our tax dollars and get away with it. I’m asking you to stand strong on these demands and refuse to accept any contract that doesn’t meet these basic requirements. Thank you.•

Call, Email, And Tweet At The Common Council And Mayor Brown!

Identify your council district:

Select your council Member:

District Representative Phone Number Email Twitter Handle
Masten District
Ulysees Wingo
(716) 851-5145
uwingo@city-buffalo.com
@uwingosr
Ellicott District
Darius Pridgen
(716) 851-4980
dpridgen@city-buffalo.com
@DariusPridgena
Fillmore District
Mitch Nowakowski
(716) 851-4138
mnowakowski@city-buffalo.com
@MitchNowakowski
University District
Rasheed Wyatt
(716) 851-5165
rwyatt@city-buffalo.com
@RasheedWyatt
Niagara District
David Rivera
(716) 851-5125
darivera@city-buffalo.com
N/A
South District
Christopher Scanlon
(716) 851-5169
cscanlon@city-buffalo.com
@CMChrisScanlo
Delaware District
Joel Feroleto
(716) 851-5155
jferoleto@city-buffalo.com
@JoelFeroleto
Lovejoy District
Bryan Bollaman
(716) 851-5151
bbollman@city-buffalo.com
@Bollman4Lovejoy
North District
Joseph Golombek
(716) 851-5116
jgolombek@city-buffalo.com
@golombek4reform
All Districts
Council Staff
(716) 851-5105
N/A
@BFLO_CC
Mayor’s Office
Byron Brown
(716) 851-4866* (Executive assistant)
mayor@city-buffalo.com
@MayorByronBrown

Sample Script

Hi, Councilman/Mayor ________. My name is _______ and I live in the _____ district and I’m contacting you regarding the city of Buffalo police contract. 

I’m very concerned about having a contract that gives the police union a lot of decision-making power over how the police act in our city and gives residents no say in the process at all. 

I am asking you to commit to making the proposed contract public at least a month before you vote on it, and in that time to hold at least three public hearings before you vote. In addition, please do not vote to approve any contract without the following changes:

  •  No extra protections for police from being disciplined or fired beyond what is required by state law
  •  All investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions should be done by an independent civilian oversight board
  •  Overtime and court time pay should be capped at $10,000 a year per officer and they should only be paid for the hours they actually work
  •  All new officers should live in the City for the duration of their employment
  •  All promotions and rewards should be given based on merit, not on seniority
  •  All officers should have ongoing performance reviews, at least quarterly

It is totally unfair to residents to have such important decisions about our lives made in the dark with no public input. Please commit to making this process as transparent as possible, and stand strong on these common-sense reforms. Thank you for your time and for your public service.

Sample Tweets

  • @BFLO_CC Residents deserve a voice in police contract negotiations. We are sick of being taken advantage of by the PBA and paying for out-of-control police. Hold public hearings and refuse to approve any new contract without big changes!
  • BPD are paid for 4 hrs of work every time they go to court, even if they stay for 20 min. Last yr Bflo residents paid $10 million+ for PD overtime & court time. It’s almost as if the police contract is weighted in favor of pd making 6 figure salaries off our tax dollars! @BFLO_CC