Frank Fowler

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The new head of Syracuse’s Citizen Review Board calls a recent win in court against the Syracuse Police Department a positive precedent in how the review board operates. The new administrator has a history of working with the Syracuse police chief which he hopes will help both the police department and the review board move forward.

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The Syracuse Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into the arrest of a man who was recording video of police officers. The incident of an officer arresting the man and swearing at him prompted protests from Black Lives Matter.

Watch the video here.

Maurice Crawley, 52, was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest after he recorded officers making a separate arrest from across the street.

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A video of a man who was arrested for recording police in Syracuse has caused outrage from activists.

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Between Saturday and Monday, two people were killed and six were injured during several separate shootings in Syracuse. All but one of those shootings occurred less than one mile from the others. The killings bring the number of homicides in Syracuse to 18 so far this year, according to the Syracuse Police Department.

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W-18, a new synthetic opioid, may be on the scene in central and northern New York. ACR Health prevention director Erin Bortel said several overdose deaths in the North Country have raised suspicions.

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Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters in Syracuse marched at two separate rallies throughout downtown Syracuse on Monday. Elected and law enforcement officials met with angry, yet peaceful demonstrators to listen and acknowledge injustice.

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The New York State Attorney General’s Office is now involved in the investigation of an officer-related shooting that occurred in Syracuse over the weekend. A 41-year-old man is dead and officers and bystanders were injured at a Father’s Day party that turned unruly on Sunday night.

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Events celebrating LGBT pride in Syracuse this week are being overshadowed by the shooting at a gay club in Orlando. A candlelight vigil for the victims was held at Syracuse’s city hall.

The Syracuse Police Department has had tensions with the city’s Citizen Review Board, as well as ongoing conflicts with the county district attorney’s office.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler about those issues, as well as the national problem of police shootings of unarmed citizens and other police abuse—and the effect they have on police-community relations.  They also discuss the facts and the myths about crime in Syracuse.

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The administrator for Syracuse’s Citizen Review Board, which investigates complaints against the police department, is stepping down next month. This comes amidst a pending lawsuit the review board brought against the Syracuse Police Department.

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The city of Syracuse swore in a new class of police officers on Monday. The new recruits are filling spots being vacated by retiring officers and helping to cut down on overtime.

Kimberly Dishaw of Syracuse is one of the 25 new officers.

“I’m just overwhelmed, excited, ready to start class,” Dishaw said.

The officers now begin 26 weeks at the police academy before another 12 weeks of field training. Speaking to the new recruits, Police Chief Frank Fowler told them it is a challenging time to be an officer.

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So far in 2016, the Syracuse Police Department has been dealing with homicides on the city’s north and south sides and the high profile killing of a baby girl. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler continues to listen to concerns directly from the public.

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The father of a 21-month-old girl who went missing in Syracuse is now being charged with her death. A 911 call and an Amber Alert assisted police in the investigation.

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Syracuse Truce is a collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement to go after gun and gang violence in the city. Their most recent effort in the past three months resulted in 27 gang members being arrested on charges varying from murder to parole violation.

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There are no federal laws that prevent the trafficking of illegal guns between states. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that, and is finding support in central New York.

Tonya Dugan, of Phoenix, is the mom of a young child. And that’s what she says has pushed her to join the ranks of anti-gun activists.

“What spurred me to take action was when we started looking at pre-K for my son, and I found I was terrified to send him.”

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The Boys and Girls Clubs of Syracuse are spearheading an effort to try to curb violence among teens and young adult men of color.

The idea, says Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, is to give these teens and young man strategies to deal with conflicts at school or on the streets.

"If you’re limited in terms of what you think your options are, then you’re going to resort to some of the options you feel are available to you. So by giving these young people additional options to refer to, that increases the likelihood that violence won’t occur,” said Fowler.

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There have been 70 shootings resulting in injuries and 11 in deaths in Syracuse through September of this year. Officials are offering up a range of solutions on how to reduce gun violence in the city.

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The City of Syracuse is coming together to try to make sure this Halloween weekend is a safe one. 

Halloween is on a Saturday this year.  And Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says across the country, that often means a little more trouble than if it’s on a weekday.
 

"The city of Syracuse has not been immune to that in years past. And in years past, we’ve had our issues in the community -- issues with violence, issues with people acting in an unsafe manner,” said Fowler.

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This week is “Law Enforcement Appreciation Week” in the city of Syracuse. A series of events are planned in honor of police officers and one in particular who was killed in the line of duty. Friday will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Syracuse Police Investigator Wallie Howard. Howard worked in narcotics on a D.E.A. task force and was undercover on a special assignment when he lost his life. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said they are asking the city to join in a moment of silence on Friday at 2:24 pm. 

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The Syracuse area’s Gang Violence Task Force has been able to make a dent in some of the city’s gang activity this summer with its most recent crackdown on gangs.

There are 17 distinct criminal gangs spread out among several Syracuse neighborhoods, according to the Gang Violence Task Force. With names like Bricktown, Elk Block and the Northside Bloods, officials they are the source of much of the crime in the city.  

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Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner was on the city’s west side on Thursday, highlighting efforts of police and other officials to improve troubled neighborhoods. But some residents are upset that some neighborhoods have been struggling for years.

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Syracuse police have announced another round of gang-related arrests. After multiple people were shot and two people were killed over the Fourth of July weekend, one of those homicides kicked an anti-crime program into action.

The Truce program in in the city of Syracuse is a community law enforcement collaboration meant to reduce gun violence. It’s triggered, or pushed into action, when gang members, responsible for much of the crime in the city, are involved in a homicide.

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Prosecutors and police agencies across central New York are trying a new strategy as they continue to fight the rising use of synthetic marijuana. Not since the bath salts craze of 2012 have local police and emergency personnel come across so many agitated individuals high on synthetic drugs. 

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Enhanced enforcement by the Syracuse Police Department this winter, as part of the TRUCE initiative, has led to the arrest of 20 Bricktown and Bootcamp gang members.

Syracuse TRUCE started two years ago, as a collaboration between police and community service organizations with the aim of reducing gun violence in the city.

DJ Leln / via Flickr

Some of the hand-me-down gear the Syracuse police force has received from the Pentagon is harmless - and in fact pretty useful: First aid kits, 40 pairs of long johns, 50 pairs of winter boots, even electrical tape and bungee cords.

Ellen Abbott

Research shows a connection between early childhood education and crime. Central New York boosters of universal pre-kindergarten say that should be an important consideration when it comes to funding quality programs.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says the statistics logically lead to the conclusion that pre-K prevents crime.

Matthias Ripp / Flickr

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler is helping an organization that’s advocating for more after school programs.

The highest profile member of the Afterschool Alliance is former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

“After school programs are between three and six o’clock, which is the danger zone for our kids,” Schwarzenegger said.

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More police cameras are heading to crime-ridden Syracuse neighborhoods, spreading into more areas on the city’s Northside.

Patricia Simmons is pastor of a church in the Washington Square neighborhood of Syracuse. She’s happy the crime-deterring cameras are coming.

"Our church is on the corner of Park and Turtle,” Simmons said. “Outside our door we see prostitution, we see drug activities happen. If we have a big event, the folks come out to solicit and I think the cameras would also help to alleviate some of that.” 

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Several local politicians, including Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman appeared at city hall in downtown Syracuse to throw their support behind the federal Smartphone Theft Prevention Act.

The act would require smartphone makers to install a “kill switch” on their devices that would allow customers to delete data and deactivate their phone remotely.

Schneiderman says the major manufactures have the technology to do this but are choosing not to.

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Syracuse-area advocates of universal pre-kindergarten want lawmakers to include it in the state budget expected to be approved in Albany in the next ten days. Supporters crystallized their argument for pre-K  at a news conference at Delaware School on Syracuse’s west side Thursday.

The call to  include universal pre-K in the state budget came from business leaders, like Centerstate CEO president Rob Simpson

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