Buffalo Common Council president calling for greater transparency about traffic stops

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Darius Pridgen, Buffalo Common Council president, is calling on the Buffalo Police Department to be more transparent with their locations of traffic checkpoints around the city.

Buffalo Police use checkpoint to stop cars as they’re coming through a certain area to check for violations- anything from not wearing seat belts to driving with outdated registration. Checkpoints are held strategically at different places around the city.

Pridgen said that there’s concern from neighbors that there are more checkpoints in certain areas of the city, calling it an “oversaturation”. He said that the public hopes for equitable police checks all over the city.

Pridgen says in order to get the facts, the city needs documentation of where the checkpoints happen. Lawmakers have made a formal request to Buffalo Police to get the council regular reports on where the checkpoints are located, how many tickets were issued, and what was found.

Pridgen said he was contacted by the Buffalo Police commissioner immediately.

“I was contacted by the commissioner right away and learned that they hadn’t kept those records of what was collected at the points and that it would be labor-intensive to try and now backtrack- so what the police commissioner agreed to do was going forward from that call, that the information would be chronicled and I’ve asked for it to be made available to the public,” Pridgen said.

Pridgen added that the police commissioner agreed going forward to chronicle the information and that he’d asked it be made available to the public.

Pridgen feels this is an important step to building public trust. City leaders shared some of the data with News 4 collected from checkpoints from different parts of the city.

They are hesitant to share the exact location of where the checkpoints are with the public because of safety and security concerns for Buffalo Police officers. Pridgen says he’s hopeful that he’ll have full reports which will be made public by the next police oversight meeting at the end of September.

 

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