Welcome to the City of Tonawanda Police Department. We are located at the western terminus point of the Erie Canal and on the shores of the Niagara River between Buffalo and Niagara Falls in Western New York State. We are approximately 10 miles from Canada and about 90 miles from Toronto, Ontario. We serve a population of 18,000 citizens with 28 sworn and 10 civilian employees. Tonawanda is an Iroquois Indian name when translated means swift water. Situated only nine miles from the brink of Niagara Falls, the water of the Niagara River truly flows "swiftly".
The City of Tonawanda is a full service organization with a proud history of over 100 years in existence. Our agency followed the Community Policing philosophy long before the term was coined. Our Officers participate in many community events including the annual Canal Festival, and many others. Much of our duties include the patrol of the many parks located adjacent to our waterways and our Marine Patrol. Officers patrol the parks not only in cars, but bicycles and a golf cart for added flexibility. We are very proud of our heritage and look to providing the best Law Enforcement services possible as we enter the millennium.
Overnight Parking on City Streets and Public Areas
The City of Tonawanda has a very specific ordinance regarding the overnight parking of vehicles. Signs are posted when you first enter the City from any roadway. The ordinance says:
Section 306-17 All Night Parking [Amended 11/6/96]
The standing of vehicles between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on all City streets is hereby prohibited from December 1 through March 31. The standing of vehicles from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on all City streets is hereby prohibited from April 1 through November 30.
The Police Department attempts to accommodate people when it is possible. During the winter months normally exceptions are not granted to the parking ordinance, but during the warmer months when no snow plowing is a possibility, we will grant permission for a vehicle to be parked on the City streets if a request is made and a valid reason is offered. Permission will NOT be granted for extended periods of time, but valid reasons for overnight permission may include:
- Overnight guests and no parking available in your driveway to accommodate the extra cars.
- Construction prohibits you using the driveway.
- The vehicle is disabled and cannot be removed until the next day.
If this situation exists, you may call our Dispatch Center and request permission for the vehicle to be parked on the City Street. We can continue to accommodate these requests as long as the situation is not abused.
Parking Problems (General)
Disabled Vehicles. If a vehicle becomes disabled, the Police must consider the complications of leaving the vehicle for any period of time. If the vehicle is obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic, the vehicle will be towed at your expense. We normally will attempt to contact the owner first, but this problem cannot be left unattended. If your car does break down in traffic or on a city street, please call our dispatch center at 692-2121 and we will do whatever we can to accommodate your removal of the vehicle.
Parking Across the Sidewalk. This is a year round problem. Pedestrians need and deserve the right to use the public sidewalk without obstruction. Even leaving your car there for a "couple minutes" while you run into the house does not help the person who is walking, particularly those handicap residents and child strollers. Please be courteous and leave the sidewalk clear. During the winter, it would also help to clean snow off the sidewalk as you do your driveway.
Complaints about snow plowing of driveways and discharging snow into the street are common during the wintertime. Snow Plow operators need to have a City permit and insure that they entirely remove snow from the street. When you are shoveling or snow-blowing, please don't deposit the snow in the street. This can cause a hazardous situation for traffic, and even more basic is the fact the City spends many thousands of dollars plowing the streets to make them as usable as possible during inclement weather. Please think of your neighbors when doing this activity. Phone Numbers FOR ALL EMERGENCIES DIAL 911 For non emergencies and all inquiries please dial 692-2102. This automated system will list all options or for: Administration Offices: Press #1 For complete individual Officer Directory: Press #2 Detectives Office: Press #4 Records Office: Press #5 Juvenile Aid Office: Press #6
Everybody Has Needs – Do the Right People Know What Yours Are?
If you or someone in your household has a disability or a special medical need, the people whose job it is to respond when you call for help in an emergency need to know. Whether it affects your entire community, your street or just your home, seconds can make a life-or-death difference. Having specific details about your special situation will significantly help us help you. Follow this link to print out form and send to Fire Department, 44 William Street, Tonawanda, NY 14150
If your vehicle has been towed for a violation of the Vehicle & Traffic law or due to the fact it was abandoned, you must call Dan Walter & Son Towing at 695-3100 to make arrangements to take possession of the vehicle. The City of Tonawanda has contracted Dan Walter & Son Towing for all vehicle tows but has no relationship with them in regards to towing/impound fees charged or losses claimed by vehicle owners.
If your operator’s license was confiscated by this department for a suspension or revocation it has been mailed to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. You must go to a local DMV office to begin the process of retrieving your license. ALL suspensions and revocations must be lifted before DMV will return your license to you. By receiving your operator’s license back does not dismiss or absolve you of any charges pending.
If your vehicle’s license plates have been confiscated by this department for a registration suspension or revocation (or improperly used plates) they are turned in to the DMV, you must go to a local DMV (there is one in this building) to start the process of clearing your suspended registration. The DMV will explain to you this process. Please note that the charges placed against the driver are still pending and must be answered in court. Clearing up your suspended registration does not dismiss or absolve the driver of charges pending. Bring all your paperwork to court on your court date to show that you are clearing up the suspension.
Victim Notification Program
Homeland Security Investigations is committed to protecting the public and ensuring that the rights of victims are carefully observed. HSI administers a Victim Notification Program which allows eligible victims and witnesses to obtain reliable and timely information regarding a criminal alien's release from custody. Victims and witnesses are required to register with the HSI's agency in order to receive notification of a criminal alien's release. If you would like to register, click here to register and receive valuable information.