The Green Party candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says the that office needs more tools to deal with a homicide crisis in the city. Kevin Bott says if he is elected, he would fully embrace the concept of community policing to get at the root of this year's rash of killings across the city.
"Community policing is about empowering the police officers to have almost a kind of status of chief in a permanent location. So they really have some liberties to deal with a problem in a spontaneous way," said Bott. "They're known to that neighborhood, they become partners in those neighborhoods, and again they're seen as partners in community problem solving."
At a news conference in front of city hall, Bott said he would reorganize the police force and put more officers in neighborhoods, but solving the problem will take more than that.
"It's more than simply more boots on the streets, community policing, if embraced fully, empowers the community and it empowers police officers to do more than simply crack down on crime. It's really a tool that brings the community and the police department into partnership as social problem solvers," he said.
Bott also says he would bring the Green Party jobs platform to city hall, contending that a lack of jobs is one reason many youth turn to violence. Bott is facing incumbent Democrat Mayor Stephanie Miner and Conservative Ian Hunter in Tuesday's general election.