On June 19, Mayor Ben Walsh issued the Syracuse Police Reform Executive Order No. 1 Action #14. The fourteenth action in the Mayor’s first Executive Order calls for the City of Syracuse and the Syracuse Police Department to continue to review and upgrade the department’s recruitment, screening, and hiring practices, with an aim to increase the diversity of the department’s membership.

The department is currently working with the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC), in partnership with the Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, which provides technical assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. These services are delivered at no cost to the requesting agencies.

The Syracuse Police Department contacted CRI-TAC in September of 2019, requesting technical assistance with the department’s recruitment, hiring, and retention programs. CRI-TAC provided the department with an initial technical assistance plan, which included sending Lt. Julie Shulsky and Sgt. Jason Tom to a recruitment, hiring, and retention workshop in Bristol, Rhode Island in January of 2020.

After the January 2020 workshop, the Syracuse Police Department requested a full assessment of the department’s current recruitment, hiring, and retention programs from CRI-TAC. Due to travel restrictions and safety measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person assessment was delayed until January 2021.

In January of 2021, CRI-TAC sent subject matter expert, retired POlice Chief Patrick Oliver, to the Syracuse Police Department to conduct the full assessment. CRI-TAC develops solutions specifically tailored to each agency, which enables department leadership and staff to play an active role in the problem-solving and solution development process. Chief Oliver spent two days speaking with various members of our department, civil service and community members during his assessment.

Upon the completion of Chief Oliver’s assessment, CRI-TAC will provide the department with best practices and recommendations to improve SPD’s current recruitment, hiring, and retention practices.

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