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Statement Regarding Recent Department of Public Safety Organizational Changes
Within the next week, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be announcing appointments to new first line leadership assignments resulting from nearly a year of reorganization planning. DPS began these changes with the appointments of Associate Chiefs and Commanders (see related news story https://news.syr.edu/dps-3/), and the remaining appointments will position the department to much more fully engage in practices and principles around community oriented policing.
DPS has embarked on a comprehensive process assessing the services we provide with a focus on implementing improvement. After extensive study, the Department has implemented a reorganization that will improve communication, refocus our values on trust, respect, empathy and ethics, and better position the entire organization in providing the best possible community policing services. As a result of this process, some of our Shift Commanders and Corporals will serve in new roles as Public Safety Officers after the reorganization. It is important to note that we have been able to affect the reorganization without layoffs of any DPS employees.
We communicated the reorganization, and the new positions, last week. Several individuals had been notified that their pay would be reduced as a result of reassignment to new Public Safety Officer positions. To minimize the impact on those whose positions will change, we have revisited the salary issue to eliminate significant downward salary shifts. This has been communicated to them.
To firmly commit to Community Policing, there will be many new initiatives, the most significant will include:
- The Law Enforcement and Community Policing Division’s Investigations and Crime Prevention Section will shift priorities to include detective assignments to athletics and resident hall community policing as well as all detectives dedicating much of each work day to community outreach, crime prevention programming and events. This will more closely align crime prevention activities with community concerns as well as information leads from the investigation of incidents.
- There will be heightened accountability for ensuring community interaction and community policing efforts by patrol officers at DPS. Commanders from the Community Policing Patrol Section will be using data collected through the DPS computer aided dispatch system to provide monthly updates to the DPS Executive Team regarding the community contacts and community policing activities of each of the officers under their areas. Activity in the area will be carefully measured and compared month to month and compared with incident data to continually enhance community policing efforts.
- Patrol Officers assigned to all shifts will share in community policing efforts in a revitalized Adopt-a-Hall Program, with regular visits to each residence hall in each of their patrols zones at least once during every shift. Officers will touch base with RAs, attend floor meetings when appropriate and possible, and interact with students, providing crime prevention messages and discussing student concerns. Within Patrol, DPS Orange Watch functions, which focus on community policing on campus and in near-campus neighborhoods, are being aligned with the regular shifts and now start by 4 p.m. and run through 7 a.m. Officers rotating to Orange Watch posts will be engaged in walking, bicycle and/or vehicle patrols during various hours on those shifts.
Also, new assignments into the DPS Staff Development and Student Services Division will create opportunities for employee development in areas of improved interpersonal communication skills, community policing practices, investigative skills and many special areas of campus law enforcement. Each of the DPS Training Coordinators will work with employees on professional development plans focused both in the areas of the employees’ interests and the areas of department needs.
As DPS continues in its reorganization, our focus will remain on the safety or our students, faculty and staff, a focus on community policing and a commitment to dedication, protection and service.
Louis Marcoccia, Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer;
Thomas Wolfe, Senior VP and Dean of Student Affairs;
Kal Alston, Senior VP for Human Capital Development; and
Tony Callisto, Chief, Department of Public Safety