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New community advisory board to augment city's Police Oversight Committee

The Common Council's Police Oversight Committee now has a community advisory board that will make recommendations to the Council and the Buffalo Police Department.

The advisory board includes 11 city residents who represent a diverse range of issues, neighborhoods, expertise and generations, Niagara Council member and committee Chairman David A. Rivera said in a written statement Thursday.

The  Council unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday creating the advisory board.

Board members will convene public meetings to hear from residents and meet with Buffalo Police Department leadership to relay concerns and develop solutions. The group will report its findings, including potential policy solutions, to the Oversight Committee, which provides the only real civilian oversight of the department.

More than 50 people applied for the 11 seats on the advisory board, said Rivera, a retired Buffalo police officer. Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood said during his confirmation Tuesday that he is committed to working with the new board.

Rivera said he was "overwhelmed" by residents' willingness to serve the city, noting  that many who were not appointed to the board said they remain committed to helping the panel.

Members of the advisory board will be introduced at the next Police Oversight Committee meeting at 11 a.m.  March 27. They are:

  • Bobbie Brown, Resident Advisory Board member for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority
  • Erin Carman, assistant professor in Daemen College's Department of Social Work
  • Danielle Johnson of Open Buffalo's Justice and Opportunity Table
  • De'Jon Hall of the MOCHA Center
  • Jonathan Manes, assistant clinical professor at the University at Buffalo's School of  Law and director of UB's Law School Civil Liberties and Transparency Clinic
  • Ari Moore of the WNY Anti-Violence Project
  • Charles Morrison of My Brother's Keeper
  • Benjamin Nelson of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Steven Sanyu from Burmese Community Services
  • Willie Smith from My Brother's Keeper
  • Yasmin Young, 93.7 WBLK director of community outreach






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