Syracuse Police Department

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The city of Syracuse is adding some new technology to it’s arsenal that it hopes will help reduce crime.

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The Syracuse Police Department held a civilian police academy this week to expose some members of the public to what it is like to be a police officer. The training was an attempt by police and the community to better understand each other.

Brandiss Pearson, of Syracuse, said she participated in the training because she has a husband who is a corrections officer and teenage children who see law enforcement differently. She asked Sgt. Derek McGork during his presentation on civilian encounters, if a police officer is allowed to racially profile someone like her son.

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The city of Syracuse had a record high number of homicides in 2016. That compares to a record low number of violent and overall crimes in 2015. Syracuse officials say while homicides are tougher to control, police do have the power to curb other crimes.

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The Syracuse Police Department is holding a civilian police academy to expose the public to the challenges of being a police officer. It comes after a tense year for police officers and communities in Syracuse and across the country.

Several Black Lives Matter protests were held in Syracuse in 2016 demanding more independent oversight, accountability and demilitarization of police.

Syracuse Police Department Detective Mark Rusin said the civilian police academy is meant to start an open dialogue, to clear up misunderstandings and to give people a glimpse at policing.

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The city of Syracuse has sworn in 34 new police officers. It comes at a challenging time for law enforcement in Syracuse and across the country.

Syracuse has had 28 murders so far in 2016, the most  in the last five years. The Syracuse Police Department has received more calls reporting shootings this year compared to 2015. Police Chief Frank Fowler said the department is committed to trying to make a difference. On top of that, Fowler said, the police in general, can be targeted unfairly by some in the public and the media.

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A Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Syracuse on Tuesday focused on the issue of violence against black women. Protesters highlighted one incident in particular as part of the group’s continuing effort to push for police accountability.

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An Onondaga County grand jury has determined the fatal shooting of a man by a Syracuse police officer in the Syracuse University area was justified. This was the third fatal shooting by Syracuse police officers this year.

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A number of items came up on the Syracuse Common Council agenda at a recent meeting. The Syracuse Police Department will be training officers and detectives on how to obtain video footage from corner stores and other businesses. The training was approved by the Syracuse Common Council and will begin in December.

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The Syracuse Police Department is investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting that happened Sunday night in the Syracuse University area. This is the third fatal shooting involving police to occur in Syracuse this year.

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The Syracuse Common Council unanimously passed funding for a police-community dialogue project organized by InterFaith Works of Central New York. Police officers and community volunteer facilitators will hold dialogue circles with city residents. The goal of the dialogues is to strengthen understanding between residents and police.

The funding of $30,000 was initially objected by Councilor Khalid Bey and the measure was held. Bey told the police department and InterFaith Works that he was skeptical these dialogues were improving police relations with city residents.

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The city of Syracuse has been awarded a grant of more than $100,000 for a pilot police body camera program. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said she hopes the cameras will improve accountability and community relations among police and the public.

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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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An Onondaga County grand jury has determined that the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer in Syracuse on Father’s Day was justified. Hundreds of people were at a cookout that turned violent. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said it started with a group of individuals that drove by and open fired on the crowd.

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The Syracuse Common Council has authorized what the Syracuse Police Department would purchase if the city wins a U.S. Department of Justice grant for police body cameras.

The pilot program would include 10 body cameras, docking stations, a server and ballistic shields. They are asking for funds totaling more than $100,000, which the city would split evenly with Onondaga County. The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office would purchase their own equipment from their portion.

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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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The city of Syracuse has applied for a pilot program that would equip the Syracuse Police Department with 15 body cameras. Currently, the department does not have any officers with body cameras.

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Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced that 11 people have been arrested for inciting a riot at the Father’s Day shooting in Syracuse, during which an officer fired her gun and one man was killed. The officer responded to a shootout that included 37 shots fired from multiple guns, turning a large block party into chaos.

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The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority will be reimbursing the city three million dollars in a settlement with the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association for lost wages from 2012-2014. The airport authority did not have the power to hire a private security company when it did.

Syracuse Police Department

The Syracuse Police Department has released a video from the Father's Day shooting that happened over the weekend where a police officer fired her gun and one man was shot and killed.

The video starts with a large crowd of party-goers running frantically away. The video appears to show a woman in uniform, presumably Officer Kelsey Francemone running towards the chaos. Francemone is the officer Syracuse Police said fired her weapon.

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The Syracuse National Action Network and many in the city's African American community are calling for an independent review into what happened at a cookout event on Syracuse's Near West Side that turned into a shooting on Sunday. Many questions remain as to why one man was killed and a police officer discharged her gun.

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A Syracuse police officer has been cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an armed woman.

Police officers Darrin Ettinger and Jeremy Decker were called to the scene back in February on a complaint of drug dealing. Upon arriving, the woman, brandishing a sawed-off shotgun, ran away from police officers, who told her multiple times to drop her weapon. The woman turned and pivoted towards Decker, pointing the gun in his direction. Ettinger fired two shots that hit the woman.

Former Syracuse police sergeant and spokesperson Tom Connellan has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $32,000 from New York state in unearned wages. The theft comes from falsifying reports he made for a part-time job.

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A conference for the New York Tactical Officers Association is being held at the Turning Stone Resort this week. Various social justice groups from across the state are protesting the conference which they say contributes to the militarization of police departments.

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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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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.

Syracuse police have issued an AMBER Alert as they continue to search for a 21-month-old girl who may have been taken by her custodial father. 

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The Syracuse Police Department is trying to use technology to get more people to tip them off about criminal activity. A new smartphone app for Apple and Android phones, called SPD Tips, is now available. It allows people to anonymously contact police directly with a tip. It goes along with the 411 tips link on the department's website, according to police Chief Frank Fowler.

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