Our Advisors

Our primary focus is building
relationships with the community

With an exceptional team of advisors, we aim to inspire and support young people in Buffalo to reach their potential and live their best lives.
COMMISSIONER
JOSEPH GRAMAGLIA
LT CRAIG
BOARD MEMBER
PO. Niko Davis
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joseph Gramaglia became the City of Buffalo’s Police Commissioner in 2022. Gramaglia has been a member of the Buffalo Police Department for 25 years and collaborates with many law enforcement agencies and partnerships in Western New York. Gramaglia has risen through the ranks, initially assigned to the homicide unit, and then became Chief of B District in 2016. He also was tapped as deputy commissioner of operations in 2018, where he supervised day-to-day operations and was the liaison for homeland security. In addition, he is a significant supporter of Buffalo Police Explorers and its outreach to youth in the City of Buffalo.

Lt. Craig has served as a board member, overseeing multiple steps of the development of this program. Acting as a solid sounding board, as he has multiple years serving as a successful Community Police Officer, honing years of creativity and ambition that serve both the community and police force needs. Additionally, Lt. Craig has spent time developing classes in which he reviews with Buffalo Police Explorer recruits various tactical strategies that he has acquired during his lengthy experience part of the United States Army, as well as a current member of the SWAT team.

Buffalo-born Police Officer, Niko Davis, has had a lifelong goal of inspiring others to live their lives to the fullest and to chase their dreams. He graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Speech Communication. At Liberty he played D-1 football and later transitioned that into a professional career in the NFL. After retiring from football he joined the Buffalo Police Department and has worked as a patrol officer since then. As of 2022 Davis has been promoted to Executive Director of Buffalo Police Explorers. Here he continues to pursue his passion for motivating and encouraging others.

Detective J. Bence, MSW
FINANCE DIRECTOR
Byron Lockwood
FORMER POLICE COMMISSIONER / ADVISOR
Former Executive Director Joelle Bence, MSW, serves as a Buffalo Police Detective assigned within the Special Victims Unit of the Buffalo Police Department. During Joelle Bence’s time as Executive Director, she made substantial contributions to the organization and the community. Bence spearheaded the first-ever 501c3 for Explorers within the Buffalo Police Department, which enabled the Buffalo Police to fundraise for young teens living in the City of Buffalo. In addition, Bence also created a finance board and initiated several successful fundraising and awareness campaigns.
Former Commissioner Lockwood became a member of the Buffalo Police Department in January 1984, working his way through the ranks of Patrol Officer, Detective, and Detective Sergeant. In March 2018, he was appointed Police Commissioner. He has played a significant role in numerous collaborative efforts with other law enforcement agencies and partnerships in Western New York. Lockwood played an essential role in developing community policing by creating the Neighborhood Engagement Team to improve dialogue between the community and police officers. He is an avid believer where one comes from should not hinder the pursuit of one’s dreams.
FINANCE BOARD
LT. M. Sullivan, LT. R. Danner, Detective J. Bence
PHYSICAL FITNESS BOARD
Detective Orfice, Detective R. Rich

The Finance Board is comprised of one Buffalo Police Lieutenant and 3 Buffalo Police Officers whose cumulative time with the department equates to 22 years of service. While their role is with The Buffalo Police Explorer recruits is more “hands off”, the program simply would not exist without The Finance Board’s contributions. This program exists solely from fundraising efforts and donations. The Finance Board donates their time and dips into their resources to find funds from local businesses and individuals who believe in the mission of this unit.

The Physical Training Board is comprised of 4 Buffalo Police Officers  who have various experiences in fitness coupled with an interest in mentoring the city youth. They conference on functional techniques, practical applications, and in addition, actually go into the community to train the recruits 2 Saturdays a month. This board is an instrumental part of the Buffalo Police Explorers, as it trains recruits to complete the physical training necessary to be hired as a police officer. Most importantly, the board members are training the recruits how to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines.

Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET)

The Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET) was uniquely and progressively established by Commission Byron Lockwood in 2018. This team works in a multitude of areas with a primary focus on establishing relationships between police and the community. Leading in the national trend of Community Police work, NET additionally plays an important role in partaking in Explorer meetings, providing manpower for 3 hours twice a month, and engaging with the recruits in various scenarios.
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