University-area property owners, Syracuse University and the Syracuse Police Department launch new crime prevention initiative
University-area property owners, Syracuse University and the Syracuse Police Department launch new crime prevention initiativeJanuary 31, 2002Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Nine local business owners representing the Syracuse Property Owners Association (SPOA) are partnering with Syracuse University and the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) in a pilot program to fund increased police patrols in the University neighborhood in an effort to deter criminal activity and promote resident safety.
The new initiative was announced on Jan. 31 by SU Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw, SPOA representative David Eade and Syracuse Chief of Police Dennis DuVal.
“I am gratified by the commitment shown by the Syracuse Property Owners Association, Mayor Driscoll and Chief DuVal,” says Chancellor Shaw, “and by the many safety suggestions we have received from students and other members of our University community and the larger community.”
The SPOA members-University-area landlords who manage 75 percent of the area’s off-campus rental housing-are providing the seed funding for an additional SPD patrol car and police officer to supplement the department’s normal coverage of the University neighborhood for a flexible four-hour nighttime period Sunday through Thursday during the academic year, when the neighborhood is at its peak population.
Friday and Saturday supplemental coverage is already provided through the existing Neighborhood Patrol program funded by the University Neighborhood Service Agreement Advisory Committee, in partnership with Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse and local neighborhood groups.
Both the Sunday-Thursday and Friday-Saturday patrols will cover the same territory-an extension of the original Neighborhood Patrol service area, extending west to east from University Avenue to Allen Street north to south from East Genesee Street to Stratford Street.
The University is also continuing to review, with its other business partners on the Hill, safety measures around the Syracuse Stage complex on East Genesee Street. Additional information is forthcoming.
“Our department enjoys a collaborative working relationship with Syracuse University, and most notably with the Department of Public Safety, to maintain the well-being of our city residents in the University population,” says Chief DuVal. “We applaud Chancellor Shaw and the area property owners for supporting this proactive community policing effort. The presence of an additional patrol in the University neighborhood will help in addressing safety issues and will make potential perpetrators think twice.”
Initially, the Sunday-Thursday patrol will be for four nighttime hours. The exact times will remain flexible, as determined by the needs of the neighborhood.
The pilot program will run for 12 weeks this spring, from Feb. 18 to May 10, and will resume in mid-August.
The SPOA members will pay a total of $15,000 for this spring and for a portion of fall 2002, up until late fall when leases start being signed for summer 2003 occupancy. At that time, it is proposed that new tenants will be assessed a projected $20 per year safety fee to fund the continuation of the pilot program.
“Chancellor Shaw and SPOA have been working for some time to address issues of mutual concern in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus,” says SPOA spokesman David Eade. “After this most recent unfortunate incident, the Chancellor reached out to see how we might be best able to work with the University and the City to improve safety and allay fears. In our view, this is just the beginning of a new partnership.”
Patrol program funds will be managed by SU’s Department of Public Safety, which will serve as liaison with the SPD and contract for its services.
The nine participating property owners are Campus Hill, David Eade, Bob Frank, Gordon Hershberger, OPR Developers (William Osuchowski), David Sutherland, Norman Traino, Joseph Tupper and University Hill Realty Limited.
The group has said that it will approach other University-area landlords and invite them to join the program.
Any additional funds collected will be used to expand the scope of services.