BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo is about to become the first major city in NY State to require it’s new police officers to live in the city — at least for the first seven years.
That’s part of a 10-year tentative contract reached between the city and it’s police union.
Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy calls it a ‘good contract overall for the members’ but he says the deal still doesn’t address what he considers to be a lack of training, and lower pay than officers in comparable cities. “You look at other police departments in western New York and even further out, we’re still behind them but this pay raise does get us a little bit closer.”
The tentative contract is retro active to 2009 and over 10 years it includes a total raise 16 percent. Any new hires would have to live in the city for their first seven years on the force, and they wouldn’t be eligible for the 901 Health Insurance plan, which current members can get, and which Mayor Byron Brown says is referred to as the ‘Cadillac insurance plan’. Brown says new hires would also be placed on a new seven step wage schedule.”
City officials made it clear that they would like to expand on the seven year residency rule when this contract runs out in 2019.
“I believe every officer should live in the City. Back in 2007” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. “When I visited Chicago Police Department, one of the first things I found out that every police officer, every firefighter, every teacher has to live in the city, and I think Buffalo would be a better place if we had the same rules in place long ago.”
The tentative contract must first be approved by the rank and file members in a vote on July 9th. Then it needs the approval of the Common Council and the Fiscal Stability Authority.