Why Can’t We Have This?

Will Buffalo join the historic trend to appoint a Black Female Police Chief?

In many cities across the country, African American women are heading the police departments. Jacqueline Seabrooks rose through the ranks to become chief of the Santa Monica, California Police Department. Ulysha Renee Hall made history in Dallas, Texas last year when she became the first woman to serve as police chief in the department’s history.

Danielle Outlaw is Portland Oregon’s first African American woman chief of Police. And last year saw a record number of Black female police chiefs in North Carolina alone. For the first time that state boasted six African American women presiding as top police officials. ”…It’s not just happening here,” Durham, N.C. police chief C.J. Davis stated. “It’s happening in Dallas, in Portland – it’s all over. It’s happening all over, and I just tell you, I love the Black girl magic!”

Locally there is a quiet groundswell in the African American community to see that same historic magic happen here. The opportunity is at hand. But can it take place? Mayor Byron Brown recently named Byron C. Lockwood Interim Police Commissioner following the abrupt resignation of Commissioner Daniel Derenda. When Derenda retired it left Kimberly L. Beaty and Lockwood– both Deputy Commissioners. But it’s well-known that Lockwood, according to sources, was also slated to soon retire.

In light of that, why would Brown name Lockwood Interim commissioner? Did he talk him out of plans to go into retirement? Why would he put him on track to become the city’s permanent top cop over Beaty? She is a 30 year veteran on the force, who happens to be the most qualified, a graduate of the Buffalo city school district, holding a 4-year degree from Canisius College and an officer that is already very highly regarded in the community.

The people’s voices should be considered. We interviewed retired members of law enforcement that have worked with Beaty. They support the appointment of Beaty based on a long working relationship. They know her work ethic and want to see a change in who runs the police department.

Mayor Brown told WBEN news that he anticipates selecting the next commissioner from within the department to take the full-time role. He has 180 days to submit a name to the Common Council for confirmation. A new police commissioner must be selected by July 16.

Many concerned citizens have called to express that It would be a travesty if Deputy Commissioner Beaty is overlooked for this position. According to our sources, a number of people have contacted the mayor’s office to encourage him to consider submitting Deputy Commissioner Beaty’s name to fill the vacancy.

We strongly support the movement to see this educated, experienced and visionary woman elevated to Commissioner. (We were unable to contact Officer Beaty for this story.


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