Ransomware attacks have been in the news lately, including an attack over the Fourth of July weekend that impacted up to 1,500 organizations. In this edition of “ITS In-Depth,” we speak with Syracuse University Chief Information Security Officer Chris Croad…
SU announces new, proactive public safety initiative in partnership with Syracuse City Police
Syracuse University today announced a new, proactive safety initiative that will further enhance security on and around campus. Beginning today, a newly created University Area Crime-control Team (UACT), staffed jointly by the SU Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Syracuse Police Department (SPD), will begin patrols in both the East Neighborhood and the Marshall Street area.
The primary mission of the UACT will be to further enhance the safety and security of SU community members on campus and in designated areas closest to the University’s campus. Additional uniformed officers from DPS and SPD will patrol the streets together on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Patrols will include one DPS officer and one SPD officer per vehicle. A supervision team consisting of one SPD supervisor and one DPS supervisor will coordinate the UACT. Salary costs for SPD officers working this new patrol will be funded by SU.
SPD officers assigned to the UACT will carry their full police authority throughout the neighborhoods adjacent to campus. Combined patrols will enable UACT to further protect the greater campus community and deter crime.
In addition to the newly created UACT, a DPS communications officer will work exclusively on monitoring security cameras during the UACT patrol hours and can dispatch UACT units to related service calls. DPS will also expand the coverage provided by its off-campus Orange Watch patrols. Current University Orange Watch staffing is for three officers during the week and five officers on weekends. Under the new plan, Orange Watch will expand to five officers seven days a week in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus. Ongoing enhanced neighborhood safety patrols with SPD and other area law enforcement agencies will also continue.
All of these new activities will continue through November, at which time DPS, in concert with SPD, will undertake a comprehensive assessment to determine the impact the efforts have had on overall safety and security both on and around campus areas.
“Syracuse University takes the safety and security of our campus community members, both on and off campus, very seriously,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “This new, collaborative initiative will strengthen our partnership with local law enforcement and build on the wide range of enhanced safety and security measures that we have implemented in recent years combining increased patrols and technological advancements.”
In recent weeks, DPS has employed several measures to deter crime in the University Area, including: bolstering the number of uniformed patrols and investigation activity; coordinating joint law enforcement details with the SPD, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and the Onondaga County Probation Department; expanding late-night shuttle services to provide safe transportation for students; and utilizing the closed-circuit cameras on Marshall Street and the University-wide Video Surveillance System (VSS) to develop leads for the SPD.
“The Syracuse Police Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life, safety and security of our Syracuse University community,” says Syracuse Chief of Police Frank L. Fowler. “This will be accomplished through the delivery of a comprehensive and integrated safety and security program. By working closely with our partners at the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety and the entire University community, we strive to improve the quality of life of those we serve, so that together we can effectively address issues and concerns. It is our goal to maintain a secure environment, and to provide dedicated service for all persons living, working and visiting Syracuse University.”
“One act of crime is simply one too many,” says SU’s Chief of Public Safety Tony Callisto. “We want to ensure that everyone feels safe on and around our campus—students, faculty and staff, residents and visitors. The University Area Crime-control Team will blanket the critical areas adjacent to campus and our strong presence will be visible not only to the community, but to potential perpetrators as well.”
SU has also instituted new protocols regarding Carrier Dome events, following the Orange Madness event last Friday night. Effective immediately, Carrier Dome Management is implementing the following policy changes:
• All Carrier Dome events will require assigned seat tickets for admission, including future Orange Madness events.
• Sales and distribution of all event tickets will be determined and handled solely by Carrier Dome Management.
• Carrier Dome Management may enforce enhanced security procedures, including metal detection or other necessary measures, to ensure the safety of Carrier Dome patrons.
In September, the University formed an administrative working group commissioned by Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Thomas Wolfe that will continue to explore additional long-term solutions that may be required in response to student and neighborhood housing demographics, crime statistics, patrol staffing and other pertinent data. The working group includes leaders of all relevant SU divisions, including the Office of the Chancellor; DPS; Student Affairs; Business, Finance and Administrative Services; Public Affairs; and Government and Community Relations, and will interface regularly with representatives from the Student Association.