City of Buffalo preparing to buy former federal courthouse to use as public safety building

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The former Dillon federal courthouse in Downtown Buffalo will become the new public safety headquarters, bringing Buffalo Police and Fire together.

The city plans on paying the federal government one dollar for the former Michael Dillon courthouse, but the cost of renovating it for its new planned purpose is in the millions.

Mayor Byron Brown said, “This building has been very well maintained, by the federal government and would need minimal investment to make it ready for the public safety campus use that we are moving forward.”

Sources say the city will spend more than $3 million to convert the 1930’S building, and eventually move the police and fire headquarters into the space.
Mayor Brown thinks the move will bring more efficiency, and better information sharing.

Mayor Brown said, “We feel very good about where the project is going, a lot of research, a lot of study, a lot of planning has gone into this.”

Sources say the current police headquarters would eventually be sold. There’s no word yet on what will happen to the fire headquarters.

Buffalo Common Councilmember David Francyzk had a different location for the public safety building in mind. He said, “I would have liked to have seen it at the old K-Mart site, that would have been my first site.”

“The block clubs were in favor of putting the police and fire campus here on the east-side, that was the original thinking of the police commissioner, but whomever made that decision internally decided against it,” said Councilman Francyzk.

Mayor Brown told us the old K-Mart building was too expensive to convert. Despite the decision, community leader, Bradford Watts, still wants the K-Mart site to be home to BPD as a satellite office for example.

Watts said, “When you got a centralized police precinct or a police presence, it helps in the efforts of what we are trying to do to help stabilize the community.”

If the purchase goes accordingly, the former courthouse will be ready as the public safety building late next year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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