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Buffalo Police Department
Mayor Byron W. Brown
Commissioner Daniel Derenda

Home » Press Releases » 2010 News Archive » Mayor Brown Announces Top Department Appointments

Mayor Brown Announces Top Department Appointments

Appointments Include Veteran Law Enforcement Professionals for Police Department’s Top Posts; Commissioner for Newly Formed Department of Parking; and New Law Department Management Team

Commissioner Daniel Derenda
Daniel Derenda

First Deputy Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood
First Deputy Commissioner
Byron C. Lockwood

Deputy Commissioner Charles Tomaszewski
Deputy Commissioner
Charles Tomaszewski

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that he has filed with the Buffalo Common Council the appointment of Daniel Derenda as Commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department. In addition, Mayor Brown announced his appointment of a veteran of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to the position of Deputy Police Commissioner, Kevin J. Helfer as Commissioner of the city’s newly formed Department of Parking, David Rodriguez as Corporation Counsel, Timothy A. Ball, Senior Deputy Corporation Counsel and Peter J. Savage III, Deputy Corporation Counsel. These appointments follow the recent appointments of Garnell Whitfield as Fire Commissioner and James Comerford as Commissioner of Permits and Inspection Services.

“Dan Derenda is a creative, hard-driving administrator in the Buffalo Police Department and has been an integral part in the Department’s anti-crime efforts that have lowered overall crime in the city by 11% since 2006 and violent crime has been reduced by 4% in the same period,” said Mayor Brown. “He joined the Buffalo Police Department in 1986 and has distinguished himself with hard work, dedication to duty and has risen through the ranks because of his commitment to successfully carry out his duties. He has served in a variety of functions within the Department including Intelligence, SWAT, Narcotics, Homicide and four years as Deputy Commissioner. I appointed him Interim Commissioner in January of this year because I knew that he would bring innovative ideas and creative policing tactics to the Department. He has proved to be a great leader of the Department and I am confident he will continue this success as Commissioner.”

With 24 years in the Buffalo Police Department, Derenda possesses vast law enforcement experience with proven skills in supervision, investigation and patrol. He began his law enforcement career in the Department as a uniformed police officer and was a Detective Sergeant in the Department’s Homicide Squad. During his career, he has been awarded several times the Mayor’s Award of Merit, the Department’s Office of the Month award and has twice received the detective Sergeant and Detective Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

As Deputy Commissioner, Derenda was responsible for analyzing best practices from other police departments around the country including implementing the city’s surveillance camera initiative and launching Mayor Brown’s annual gun buyback effort.

Since becoming Interim Commissioner, Derenda oversaw the establishment of the Department’s new housing unit, the reconfiguration of the Department’s Professional Standards Division into the new Internal Affairs Division, which opened a satellite office in City Hall earlier this month. He also helped reduce the Department’s overtime costs by $500,000 during the third quarter of the current fiscal year (January-March 2010).

Derenda has also focused on school safety and neighborhood quality of life issues by implementing the Department’s new School Resource Officers Unit, the Keeping Neighborhoods on Watch (KNOW) e-mail notification system, the Text-a-Tip initiative and adding Segways to neighborhood, commercial district, parks and special event foot & bike patrols.

In addition, Mayor Brown today announced the appointment of veteran Drug Enforcement Administration agent Charles Tomaszewski as Deputy Commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department.

Since January 2009, Tomaszewski has served Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration’s Buffalo Office. He joined the DEA as a special agent in 1988 and has served in a variety of capacities including, identifying and investigating major drug trafficking organizations in Maryland and worldwide.

From 1982 to 1987, he was a member of the U.S. Air Force 62nd Military Airlift Wing as a C-130 Navigator/Operations Officer. He remained in the Maryland Air National Guard from 1987 to 2003.

“Charlie Tomaszewski brings extensive experience in federal DEA anti-drug efforts in the U.S. and overseas,” said Mayor Brown. “Since 2009 he has been responsible for all DEA drug enforcement operations in Western New York and led the DEA Drug Task Force, which included members of the Buffalo Police Department. He has also been involved with homeland security issues and I know he will bring his years of military and federal law enforcement expertise to the Buffalo Police Department, providing our residents with a high level of professional experience and training.”

With his appointment of Kevin J. Helfer as Commissioner of the city’s new Department of Parking, Mayor Brown said, “I can’t think of a better individual than Kevin Helfer to oversee this newly created city department that will implement the recommendations of the Desman Report, which determined that the disconnect between the on-street and off-street parking programs resulted in inefficiency in both available parking utilization and enforcement. I know Kevin has the experience and capability to coordinate the long-term plans and initiatives outlined in the Desman Report and supported by my Administration that will maximize the efficiency of parking in the city and associated parking revenues.”

A one-time Common Council member representing the University District, Helfer has served as Director of Contract Compliance for Erie County, Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services and since October 2004, Executive Director of the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, Inc.

Mayor Brown today also announced a new management team for the city’s Law Department. They are: David Rodriguez as Corporation Counsel; Timothy A. Ball, Senior Deputy Corporation Counsel; and Peter J. Savage, III, Deputy Corporation Counsel.

“These three individuals have extensive experience in the city’s Law Department and I am confident in their ability to manage the Department and represent the legal interests of the city,” said Mayor Brown.