The legacy of Syracuse University alumnus Charles Vert Willie G’57, H’92 will forever be tied to that of his friend Martin Luther King Jr., making Willie’s passing a week before MLK Day 2022 especially poignant. Willie, who died on Jan….
Community Review Board Engages Highly Experienced Consultants in Community Relations and Public Safety
Syracuse University’s inaugural Community Review Board (CRB) today announced it has engaged two consultants, including a longtime academic leader and community advocate, and an experienced public safety professional, to assist in advisory capacities. The CRB has been meeting regularly as it takes on responsibilities recommended in an independent review of the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) by former Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
Bethaida “Bea” González, former vice president for community engagement, special assistant to the chancellor and dean of University College, will be senior advisor to the CRB. Melvin “Tony” Perez, former chief of public safety for Monroe Community College, will be the CRB’s expert law enforcement consultant.
“As a newly created board, we decided that we could greatly benefit from the ongoing insight that Bea and Tony could bring to our critical mission,” says CRB chair Brianna Sclafani, student in the College of Law and graduate student in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “Together, Bea and Tony bring decades of experience in community relations, law enforcement, academic administration, campus safety and security, and the student experience. Their perspectives will be of great value and can help provide context to the CRB as we move forward.”
González, who retired last July after more than four decades of service in higher education and was named Syracuse University Mace Bearer by Chancellor Kent Syverud last May, is widely respected throughout the campus and community as a fierce advocate for equity and engagement. “Bea is a true public servant,” says Sclafani. “She will bring to the CRB vast experience, understanding and decades of relationship-building with students, faculty, staff and community organizations.”
“The independent review by Loretta Lynch and her team brought to the forefront issues that must be openly and courageously addressed for our campus community to have full faith and confidence in its public safety services,” says Gonzalez. “The well-meaning intentions of the campus community must be codified and carried out in policy and process to ensure a truly equitable approach to safety and security issues.”
Perez served as chief of public safety at Monroe Community College before retiring in July 2021. In that post, he was responsible for the Office of Public Safety and worked closely with student services, counseling, housing and student groups. Perez also brings decades of service in law enforcement, including as director of intelligence for the New York State Police and deputy commissioner for the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). In the latter post, he oversaw advanced police training and consulted on police protocols and best practices among the state’s law enforcement agencies. He also spent two decades serving the Rochester Police Department, rising to the position of deputy chief of operations.
“Tony brings to the CRB a vast knowledge of best practices that will be critical to our work in reviewing our own Department of Public Safety protocols and practices,” says Sclafani.
“I look forward to working with the members of the CRB as they take on their vitally important assignments,” says Perez. “In reviewing prospective DPS policies and training, in weighing in on civilian complains regarding officer conduct, the CRB bears a critical responsibility in ensuring a culture of transparency and understanding of all sides of public safety issues.”
The CRB is made up of 11 members, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators. Part of its charge is to hear appeals of DPS internal affairs investigations, and review DPS policies and procedures.
To learn how to file a complaint via DPS’ internal affairs investigation process and to review the CRB’s process for reviewing appeals, visit the CRB’s newly created webpage. The CRB can be reached by sending an email to CRB@syr.edu.