A Message from Chancellor Kent Syverud
December 16, 2015
Over the last few days, many of you have reached out to me, the Department of Public Safety (DPS), or a member of the University’s leadership team to express your concern about the safety of our campus and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the University.
I write today to assure you that University leaders, public safety officials (both on and off campus), and I are working vigorously to address your concerns, particularly in light of recent incidents.
First off, I want to share a piece of positive news with you. This afternoon, DPS, in partnership with the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) announced a suspect is under arrest who they believe is responsible for the crime that occurred on Monday, December 14. These types of crimes often take a long time to solve and I am proud of the quick work and persistence of my DPS colleagues and our partners at the SPD. I know this is only one example of success; but it’s an important one which demonstrates the University’s commitment to preventing, reducing, and solving crimes.
As a parent myself, I understand your concern for your child’s safety and well-being. I want you to know that your child’s safety is as important to me as the safety of my own children. And, I know DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado shares that sentiment as he is the father of not one, but two current Syracuse University students.
As Chancellor of Syracuse University, my number one priority is and always will be the safety of our students. That is why DPS has and will continue to take a number of critical steps, including enhanced partnership and communication with the SPD, to minimize crime in neighboring communities. Some of the most impactful initiatives the University is deploying include but are not limited to:
- Increasing DPS presence in areas frequently traveled by students and stepped up patrols in the surrounding areas.
- Constant assessment and reallocation of patrol activities to increase patrols in necessary areas.
- The DPS Orange Watch unit has added more patrols to the off-campus neighborhood area and have hired SPD Officers to supplement DPS patrols through the University Area Crime Control Team, for enhanced coverage on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. These patrols have contributed to immediate arrests in incidents over the past few years and a reduction of roughly 33 percent in serious incidents in the immediate off-campus areas.
- Over the past eight years, we have cumulatively invested nearly $6 million in additional police patrols and technology to support these efforts.
We, as a University, are also communicating regularly and frequently with our students to share important information regarding safety and security on our campus and in the community.I want to reiterate that your student’s safety is my paramount priority. As your students return home over the holiday break and you discuss their semester with them, please keep me informed about any concerns they share as it relates to their safety on campus. This information is invaluable as we at the University seek to provide a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for our students.