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Home > City Departments > Citizens Services > Save Our Streets Program

Save Our Streets Program

Program Coordinator - Paul C. Perez
Address: 218 City Hall, Buffalo, New York 14202
Phone -  (716) 851-5094

The City of Buffalo’s Save Our Streets (SOS) Task Force is comprised of various law enforcement and government agencies, which include the Division of Citizen Services, City of Buffalo’s Law Department, Buffalo Police Department, Erie County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Attorney’s Office. The charge of the Task Force is to empower residents in the community, and improve the quality of life in the City of Buffalo by ridding residential properties of drug activity in a collaborative manner. 
The SOS Task Force recognizes that non-traditional techniques of law enforcement must supplement traditional investigative and arrest methods. Using a coordinated approach between and among the members of the SOS Task Force, each agency is responsible for a particular problem facing the individual property. These agencies will send a response team to enforce their respective ordinances to ensure that the owners and tenants of the property are properly made accountable for any violations. For example, if a tenant of a targeted property is on probation or parole, Task Force members from the Erie County Department of Probation and the NYS Division of Parole will quickly respond to any arrests or complaints regarding that individual. If a tenant is receiving social service benefits, the Director of Investigation for the Erie County Department of Social Services will immediately investigate to determine whether that individual should continue to receive benefits.

The SOS Task Force is also continuing and expanding its latest prevention program, Operation Clean Sweep. In 2010, the SOS Clean Sweep Committee conducted 23 clean sweeps, which resulted in the following actions:
  • The Department of Inspections issued 911 locations with letters for housing code violations and referred 182 properties to demolition;
  • The Department of Public Works removed 616 tires from vacant properties and filled 232 potholes;
  • The Signal Division replaced 254 missing or damaged street signs;
  • Animal Control issued 19 summons for unlicensed dogs and rescued 24 animals from unsafe conditions;
  • Rodent Control baited 855 properties and vacant lots;
  • The Clean & Seal Crew boarded 125 vacant homes, mowed 499 overgrown lawns, and removed tons of trash & debris;
  • The Anti-Graffiti Program removed 87 graffiti tags; 
  • Free smoke detectors were distributed to 54 homes and 224 citizens received Files of Life. []
  • Buffalo Police Department collected 31 investigation referrals and vital intelligence from citizens, resulting in numerous drug raids and arrests;
  • Buffalo Senior Services signed 48 citizens for disabled parking passes and provided 198 discount cards to seniors;
  • Buffalo Sewer Authority cleaned 1,361 receivers or debris;
  • New York State Parole verified compliance of 8 parolees with surprise visits;
  • New York State Department of Health helped enroll 131 for health insurance;
  • The Housing Division for Neighborhood Development referred 47 citizens for services.
  • National Fuel addressed gas leaks and disconnected 163 illegal connections;
  • Time-Warner disconnected 162 illegal cable service connections;
  • The WNY Homeless Coalition investigated 105 properties suspected of having squatters; and
  • The UB Smile Team provided 495 referrals for children and adults to receive free or discounted dentistry services.

The SOS Task Force is also continuing its’ free Landlord Training Program.  SOS’s Landlord Training Program began in 2001 and 1326 properties owners or those interested in property management have attended over the last nine years.  A total of 128 residents participated in the training sessions in 2010.  The next training session is scheduled for April 1, 2011.
The vast majority of the attendees have enrolled voluntarily. However, City of Buffalo City Court Housing Judges will also mandate attendance for residents he feels would benefit from the program. In addition, first time homeowners who are purchasing two family homes are being referred to our program to qualify for their mortgages.

Additionally, the SOS Task Force has developed a free Advanced Landlord Seminar for property owners who have completed the basic Landlord Training Program. The Advanced course runs simultaneously with the above Training Program. The Advanced seminar consists of 5 to 6 in-depth workshops that elaborate on topics covered in the basic Landlord Training. The landlords are allowed to choose up to 5 workshops to attend