Syracuse Police Department gets new technology to combat gang activity

Mar 23, 2017

The Syracuse Police Department is updating the way they keep track of gangs and gang violence in Syracuse.

At the city’s common council meeting this week, the council approved the department’s request to purchase a new software system called Gangscope. The program is an online database that allows authorities to closely monitor gang activity. Syracuse Police Department Captain Richard Trudell said their current database is outdated and sees this new technology as a way to be more proactive against gang activity.

“The vast majority of our shootings and our gun violence in the city of Syracuse is attributed to gangs and gun violence by groups,” Trudell said. “So having the best intelligence on whoever is in those gangs or groups allows us to be proactive and conduct enforcement.”

Trudell said one of the biggest concerns surrounding the purchase of the new technology is the process of purging old gang members. But he said the department follows federal guidelines when it comes to purging.

“It’s five years of inactivity…and then they come out. But if there’s any activity within that five-year timeframe then people stay in,” Trudell said.

The new database automatically sends alerts when an individual has been inactive for five years. But Trudell said audits are still put in place to ensure a thorough process. Once an alert is sent, an analyst still goes through the individual’s record and activity before making a final decision of purging.

The first year of Gangscope will cost $15,000 and $16,000 for every subsequent year. The first year of purchase will last from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.