West Seneca Police Department

Detective Bureau

Bureau Contact: 716-674-3154
Anonymous Tipline: 716-675-8423

The Detective Bureau of the West Seneca Police Department is run under the direction of Detective Captain John McNamara. The bureau consists of seven detectives and one civilian employee and follows up on all crimes reported to our department. Within our bureau individual detectives have been trained to investigate specific types of crimes.

Presently we have detectives assigned to the areas of narcotics, arson and white collar crime. Also under the umbrella of the detective bureau are three other detectives and one lieutenant who follow up on crimes committed by juveniles and for family offense issues.

Our detectives work closely with all other local police departments and federal and state agencies. Members of the bureau also coordinate all department cases with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the West Seneca Justice Court. All pistol permit applications and employee applicants are also investigated by members of the detective bureau.

Fire Investigation Unit

Many times people will start fires to either cover up a crime or to try and recover insurance money on a piece of property. After all major and any suspicious fires have been extinguished by the local fire departments, our detective bureau will work with investigators from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in trying to ascertain the cause of the fire.

The investigators have been trained through the New York State Fire Academy at Montour Falls, New York and receive continual, updated training yearly to keep on the cutting edge of this problem. Though most people do not think of the police in the time of a fire, these officers are there to try to identify the circumstances under which the fire started and help the victims recover their insurance claims or to determine a suspicious case where an arrest needs to be made.

Fire causes are determined to be in one of four categories:

  1. Incendiary: fires that are intentionally and maliciously set
  2. Accidental: fires caused by non-malicious electrical, mechanical, chemical, nuclear and/or careless means
  3. Undetermined: fires that may have more than one possible ignition source and therefore cannot prove one definitive source of a single ignition point
  4. Natural: fires ignited by acts of nature, such as lightning

Narcotics Squad

Detectives from our department work closely with other local, state and federal agencies in the investigation of any drug cases that are reported to our department. Detective Deppeler is the lead investigator in these cases and is also trained in the testing and processing of illegal drugs.

Drugs that are seized by our officers are first field-tested by our department and then sent to the Erie County Central Police Services Laboratory for an in depth analysis and weighing. Like most communities in our country, we experience our share of drug-related incidents and arrests.

Investigations over the years have resulted in the removal of significant amounts of illegal drugs from our town. Historical records show our officers seizing a significant amount of marijuana that was being grown by an unknown suspect in a field off Center Road in the late 1950s. Our police officers in the patrol unit make numerous arrests each and every year in this area. For more information on the number of arrests made please check our statistics page.

Like any community in America, the use of illegal drugs is a concern that we must address. It can be an especially disturbing problem if a family member becomes involved in using mood altering substances. Our department receives calls on a regular basis asking our officers for advice on how to deal with issues such as a son or daughter that they suspect may be using these substances. We also receive calls asking how to speak with our kids about not using drugs or alcohol. The use of alcohol and drugs continues in this day and age to be a major factor in most of the crime in our society.

For information on how these substances can affect your family or how you can begin to address these issues with a family member or friend, check out our drug information page for information and links to websites and other sources that can assist you in this area.

Copyright © 2022 West Seneca Police Department. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2022 West Seneca Police Department. All rights reserved.