Mayor Brown Discusses Derenda's Retirement

Brown: "I had no plans to ask him to step aside,"

Mike Baggerman
January 17, 2018 - 1:04 pm

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (podium) with Retired BPD Commissioner Daniel Derend (left) and interim Commissioner Byron Lockwood (right) a from May 2017 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Following the surprise overnight announcement that Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda had retired, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown denied influencing Derenda's decision.

"I had no plans to ask him to step aside," the mayor told reporters on Wednesday. "He has served the city well. He has done a good job. Crime has fallen by 40 percent overall during my tenure as mayor. Commissioner Derenda has been the commissioner for seven years so I was very pleased with the work that he has done."

The commissioner's resignation went into effect at midnight on Wednesday. Derenda was reportedly offered a private-sector position. Mayor Brown said that Derenda had a number of positions offered in the private sector over the years but he was notified within the last week that Derenda was leaving after a accepting a position.

First Deputy Commissioner Byron Lockwood will assume the role of Interim Commissioner for the next 180 days, per the city charter. Lockwood has been a deputy commissioner for the last 12 years and worked with the day-to-day operations of the Buffalo Police Department.

Brown anticipates selecting a member of the Buffalo Police Department to assume the full-time commissioner role but wouldn't commit to naming Lockwood.

"He has decades of experience in the Buffalo Police Department," Brown said of Lockwood. "I thought he would provide a significant level of continuity of our police department. He is very well respected by members of the department."

“I would like to thank Mayor Brown for the opportunity to lead what I feel is one of the finest police departments in the country,” said Lockwood. “Policing is a noble profession, a profession that I have dedicated my life to, and I’m humbled by this awesome responsibility to continue to serve the people of Buffalo as Interim Police Commissioner.”

No list of names has been made and the mayor said he's in no rush to fill the vacancy because of the 180 day time-frame.

A new police commissioner must be selected by July 16.

LISTEN: Mayor Brown discusses Commissioner Derenda's resignation

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