Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood announced recently that he is retiring from the department after 38 years of service.
To date there has been no word from the Mayor’s office who will replace Lockwood, who was named by Brown to head the force in 2018 .
At that time there was a no widespread job search to fill that position. Selecting a police commissioner without conducting a job search is not standard practice for large municipalities.
According to a 2018 report published in The Public: “The Brown administration conducted an extensive search for police commissioner in 2006 when Brown was first elected mayor, before recommending H. McCarthy Gibson for the post. After Gibson left a more limited job search that fell short of the national search that Brown had promised was conducted in 2010 when the mayor nominated Daniel Derenda police Commissioner.”
Lockwood had served as a deputy police commissioner since shortly after Brown took office and was named interim commissioner, after Derenda retired.
“Under the City Charter, the mayor nominates department heads, including the police commissioner, and the Common Council is responsible for vetting and confirming them. The Common Council did not make an issue of Brown’s decision to not seek other candidates and unanimously confirmed Lockwood as Commissioner.”
In 2022 will the city see a formal recruitment process to find a replacement for Mr. Lockwood?
-From Patrol Officer to Commissioner-
Lockwood, who grew up on Buffalo’s East Side in the Ellicott Mall Housing Projects is a quiet success story. He attended School 6, Clinton Jr. High and graduated from East High School. He furthered his education with a degree in Liberal Arts from Erie community College and studied Criminal Justice at Buffalo state College.
Lockwood started out as a patrol officer in the Buffalo Police Department department in 1984 and was promoted to detective in 1992. Over the years he worked in units that dealt with narcotics, prostitution, homicide and street crime. He was promoted to detective sergeant in 1996.
Lockwood served as president of Buffalo’s Afro-American Police Association and is a member of the National Black Police Association. He has received numerous awards for public service, including an “excellence in service” award from Medaille College and the Black achievers Award.
He and John Walker of the recently exonerated Buffalo Five were best of friends as youngsters. Walker told The Challenger he wished Lockwood well on his retirement and praised his decision to come forward on his behalf personally, during the most critical round of The Buffalo Five’s decades long battle for justice last year. Despite being on the opposite ends of the criminal justice system, recalled John, “Lockwood showed true friendship…he could have kept quiet, but he was helpful…he honored our friendship and always believed in my/our innocence. He helped tilt the scales towards justice.”
Walker added that he hopes whoever replaces Lockwood as commissioner, will have “the same level of integrity “ as his friend.
(Some excerpts from from The Public / Investigative Post, 2018)