Mayor Byron Brown missed a great opportunity to conduct a national search for a police commissioner. His administration pretended it was looking nationally but didn't fool anybody, instead picking Dan Derenda, a huge campaign donor who lacks the respect of many cops. From the Buffalo News:
What Derenda has going for him, more than anything else, are a tightness with Brown and right-hand man Steve Casey, the requisite willingness to mouth the administration’s lines and a history of contributions to the mayor’s campaigns. With those connections, who needs qualifications?
Masiello, even with his status quo tendencies, did make a great choice when he landed Gil Kerlikowske. Kerlikowske was a nationally known figure who wasn't afraid to try and reform the system. Nobody could question his qualifications, unlike Brown's choice.
If rising through the ranks mattered, if test scores meant anything to the mayor, if having a range of experience counted, then there are dozens of Buffalo cops—and legions of others nationally— who have it all over Derenda. But those folks might go off-message and say the department is stretched dangerously thin, after the mayor claims that the streets are covered and everybody can sleep tight.
Derenda was hired to decrease overtime. My source at city hall (that would be a member of the maintainance staff) tells me that 6 or 7 police liutenants are getting paid through government grant money to give the appearance that overtime is down. The rank and file police say this will cost us more in the long run. From what we hear, Derenda has betrayed the police union for his own personal gain. From the same story:
“This is a slap in the face to any [cop] who ever served in a supervisory or command position,” said a veteran Buffalo cop, who—given Brown’s media gag order— would face discipline if identified. “A lot of [cops] are disgusted with this.”
Byron Brown could have picked someone who rose through the ranks locally or accomplished something in another community. Instead, he chose a yes-man who will do whatever Brown's aides tell him to. More incompetance coming from the 2nd floor of city hall. Is anyone really surprised?