Mayor asks Common Council to consider $725,000 on investments in public safety

Mayor Walsh is proposing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments to expand the gunshot detection system on Syracuse’s north side and to provide tasers and de-escalation training for Syracuse police officers. The Common Council will consider the proposal in a study session on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Mayor Walsh is recommending $171,000 in ARPA funding to increase ShotSpotter gunshot detection, location and forensic analysis by an additional 2.1 square miles. Under the plan, the system would include virtually all of the city’s northwest and northeast sides.

Mayor Walsh is also proposing $554,000 in ARPA funds to outfit Syracuse police officers with tasers, an effective less lethal choice for officers. The program will also provide training that emphasizes de-escalation techniques and effective responses to people with a range of mental health and disability conditions, including schizophrenia, autism, PTSD, dementia/Alzheimer’s and hearing loss. Funding will cover three years of the program implementation.

“Federal guidelines support using ARPA funds on public safety improvements,” said Mayor Walsh. “With these investments, neighborhoods across the north and northeast sides will have gunshot detection capability. We can also better equip our officers to de-escalate situations and use less-lethal means when appropriate.”

Since receiving ARPA funds in June, the Mayor and Common Council have authorized more than $42 million in pandemic relief expenditures. Investments have occurred in all of areas covered in the City’s ARPA strategy: supporting children, families and neighborhoods; transforming infrastructure and public spaces; investing in jobs and economic opportunity; and enhancing government resilience and response.

After consideration in the Wednesday study session, Mayor Walsh is asking the Council to authorize the funding for public safety at its Sept. 27 regular meeting.

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