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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Mayor Brown's Programs > Strong Neighborhoods

“Strong neighborhoods are essential to the quality of life we enjoy in Buffalo and I continue my commitment to creating a City with great opportunities for every resident in every neighborhood. We’re fixing streets and parks, making sure every neighborhood is safe, supporting arts and culture, and investing in the programs to help make our children successful.”

-Mayor Byron W. Brown

Our diverse and unique neighborhoods are fundamental to what makes Buffalo such a great city. Over the past ten years, Mayor Byron W. Brown has made the safety and vibrancy of our neighborhoods among his top priorities. He’s implemented a number of effective crime fighting strategies that have resulted in a reduction of overall crime, invested significant funds in programs that help make our children successful, allocated nearly $52 million to beautify parks citywide, and continues to support Buffalo’s world-class our arts and cultural organizations.


Public safety is important to citizens, businesses, and communities. Under Mayor Byron Brown’s leadership, there have been major gains to make Buffalo a safer city since 2006. Crime has decreased in major categories, such as assaults, robberies, rape, and even overall violent crime; and the Brown Administration has forged a number of unprecedented collaborations among federal, state and local law enforcement partners to fight crime.

Fighting Crime: Buffalo's crime rate has dropped 32 percent since 2006.  In 2015, Buffalo saw the ‘lowest crime rate’ in the city’s recorded history.  From Mayor Brown’s Zero Tolerance policing policy, to beefing up the Buffalo Police narcotics division, to adding more surveillance cameras, to removing over 15,000 illegal guns, the Brown Administration’s strategies are producing results.

Improving Community Trust: Mayor Byron Brown has implemented a number of plans to improve policing and better serve the needs of everyone in the city. There’s a strong emphasis placed on reestablishing community policing to improve dialogue between our community and police officers. Monthly meetings are held at each district police station, as well regular meetings with the Concerned Clergy, and Block Club leaders. Mayor Brown’s Buffalo Peacemakers initiative has been highly effective, a group that defuses potentially violent situations and works with residents and law enforcement to make our community safer.

Buffalo Peacemakers: Under Mayor Byron Brown’s direction, the City of Buffalo has entered its third year of partnering with the Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program; the Peacemakers help defuse potentially violent situations and work with residents and law enforcement to make our community safer.

Heroin Addiction and Overdoses: Under Mayor Byron Brown’s direction, Buffalo was the first city in the region to equip its police and firefighters with Narcan – an overdose drug reversal medication - which was implemented to fight addictions, reduce overdose deaths, and save lives.

Investing in First Responders: Since 2006, Mayor Byron Brown has invested significant funds in both police and fire technology, training, equipment and resources. Under his direction, he introduced new black and white police vehicles, built to be versatile for a wide range of tasks. He added new firefighters, replaced the entire firefighting fleet, opened three new fire houses, implemented a Code Red Emergency and Non-Emergency Alert system.

Investing in Summer Jobs and Life Skills Training: For the past ten years, the Brown administration has focused on economic development and job readiness, partnering with organizations like the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. Since 2006, more than 22,000 meaningful job opportunities have been provided to our City’s young people through Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Employment and Internship program. This year, 50 additional summer youth jobs were created, bringing the Brown administration’s total commitment to youth employment to over $10 million since 2006.

Investing in Improved Attendance and Graduation Rates: A good education is important to our young people having a good future. Working with the Buffalo Common Council, the Brown Administration provided $1.3 million in funds to Say Yes Buffalo for scholarships and academic support. Last year, the Buffalo Public schools graduation rate increased to 61%, a 10 year high for Buffalo. And, nearly 3,000 students enrolled in college and post-secondary programs over the past three years.

Investing in increased Literacy: This year, a record of nearly 2,000 students, in grades K-12, successfully completed Mayor Byron Brown’s Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge. Mayor Brown started the program 15 years ago when he was a New York State senator to help increase literacy in the Buffalo area. During his tenure as Mayor, nearly 13,000 Champion Readers in Buffalo have completed the challenge since 2006.

Infrastructure and Demolitions: Over the past ten years, the Brown administration has invested over $530 million on infrastructure projects citywide, allocated over $100 million dollars to demolish more than 5,700 blighted properties, and improved dozens of neighborhoods after conducting 241 Clean Sweeps.

Park Improvements: Buffalo’s beautiful network of parks continues to set standards of excellence, something our residents have come to expect and deserve. In 2015, The Guardian named Olmsted Park system as one of the top 10 parks in the world, while the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the Great Places in America. Since 2006, the Brown administration has invested over $52 million to improve and beautify Buffalo’s park system. Examples of recent park improvements include the a $11.8 million Broderick Park area renovation; $5.4 million investment at LaSalle Park, $4.5 million Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Water Attraction, and the $1.8 million North Buffalo Rail-to-Trails project.

Increased Housing Incentives: Since 2006, Mayor Byron Brown has strategically committed $32 million for affordable housing projects that leveraged $210 million and created over 1,200 new housing units for city residents, senior citizens and veterans.

Anchor Institutions: Knowing the city is home to invaluable assets like major universities, colleges, and health systems, Mayor Byron Brown has spearheaded groundbreaking health and fitness initiatives with participating anchor institutions to promote awareness about healthy living and healthy lifestyles.

Welcoming City: Buffalo is building a reputation as a welcoming city, through the creation of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans and the recent release of the “The New Americans Study”. The study will further strengthen Buffalo as a place of economic opportunity and inclusion.

Bike-Friendly Buffalo: The city’s first new Bicycle Master Plan supports Mayor Brown’s vision of becoming a world-class bicycling community. By the end of 2016, the city will have developed over 90 miles of bicycle lanes as a result of Mayor Brown’s commitment to create over 10 new bicycle lanes per year in an effort to become a nationally recognized ‘Bicycle Friendly Community.

Energy Initiative: The City of Buffalo has spent nearly $2.5 million on energy efficiency measures at over 45 city-owned facilities, with anticipated energy cost savings of $410,205; implemented complete street, traffic signal improvements and smart growth policies designed to encourage energy smart transportation; upgraded its downtown district energy system; and removed barriers to private renewable energy generation through the draft green code. In addition, Buffalo Water is currently completing an Energy Performance Contract with a total investment of $14M which will yield approximately $490K in annual energy savings, while the Buffalo Sewer Authority has spent over $20 million in energy upgrades over the last 9 years that have cut natural gas usage and reduced electrical usage.

34 and More Buffalo Recycles: 34andMore is the city’s first ever public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging city residents and visitors to make recycling a priority. In 2011, the recycling rate in Buffalo was 11%. Today – as a result of 34 and More Buffalo Recycles, city residents reached a recycling rate of 26%…closing in on Mayor Brown’s goal of 34% recycling by 2018.