The Niagara Falls Police Department will no longer be providing crime reports to news and media outlets without the use of a FOIA request. This change in transparency comes as the city experiences a record-setting year in violent crime.
According to U.S. Attorney J.P. Kennedy for the Western District of New York, within an October report by WKBW, homicide was up %300 in Niagara Falls compared to data from 2019. At the time of that early October report, there were 14 victims of homicide in Niagara Falls during 2020. Information collected by journalists utilizing what was the police department’s past tradition of transparency and open communication.
In placing a FOIA blockade on this information, collected by a tax-funded police department none-the-less, the taxpayer will have to now follow a process requiring authorization from Albany officials overlooking the FOIA Department. This process averages six to twenty workdays, but can take as long as sixty days for some requests.