Police Reform: A Continuous Improvement Process.

Creating reform of a longstanding system requires urgency and cross-sector collaboration informed by people, data, and accountability measures. Since becoming Mayor in 2018, enhancing police accountability and improving police-community relations has been a high priority for Mayor Walsh's administration. He conducted a national search for a new police chief, appointing Kenton Buckner to the job following direct involvement and input from community stakeholders in the search. Chief Buckner immediately took on updating policies and procedures in the department, including use of force, traffic stops, body worn cameras and interaction with transgender persons. Following a use-of-force incident in 2019, Chief Buckner and Mayor Walsh conducted citywide listening sessions to address concerns about Use of Force and collect input on new policies. 

A National Movement

The murder of George Floyd touched every corner of our country. Mobilized movements like Black Lives Matter as well as corporations sought changes to government policies and procedures harmful to Black people and persons of color.  In Syracuse, we listened and we acted. Mayor Walsh issued the Syracuse Police Reform Executive Order  outlining actions his administration will take immediately to increase police accountability and strengthen police-community relations. The work the City is engaged in is moving at a rapid pace, especially in the wake of unprecedented disruption and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Transparency in Reform

POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Mayor Walsh's focus on police-community relations and accountability began in 2018 when he entered office and began a 10 month public engagement process and search for the next police chief.

SYRACUSE POLICE ENACT BIG CHANGES

In year one of Chief Buckner's term (2019), the Syracuse Police 1) created the SPD Office of Public Relations and welcomed transparency with the media; 2) teamed officers up with mental health experts to begin Crisis Intervention Training (CIT); and 3) updated the SPD use-of-force, body-worn camera, and transgender interaction policies.

GEORGE FLOYD

The murder of George Floyd by officers in the Minneapolis Police Department mobilized calls for police reform across the globe

A SYRACUSE MOVEMENT

In Syracuse, residents, lawmakers, and growing coalitions of new and old voices were engaged in seeking improvements to police accountability and "more progress, faster." 

EXECUTIVE ORDER

Mayor Ben Walsh responded to the calls for change with Executive Order No. 1 outlining actions to further strengthen police accountability, transparency, and build trust.

WORKING ON POLICE REFORM

The administration has committed to working on implementing the Mayor's Executive Order No. 1 actions with public progress updates