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OFFICE OF THE MAYOR DEPARTMENT OF THE POLICE

Ben Walsh, Mayor Kenton T. Buckner, Chief


June 7, 2019
To Our Community and Our Officers,
One week ago on Grace Street in Syracuse, an arrest occurred that has stirred passionate views and
concerns from many people in our community regarding police use of force. We have spoken directly to
and met personally with people holding widely different views who have expressed strong opinions and
deep concerns. We fully understand the intense interest that accompanies this incident, so we want to
provide an update on what the Department is doing.
The case has been and continues to be the highest priority of the Department’s internal affairs function,
which is handled by the Office of Professional Standards (OPS). Investigators have been reviewing all
material and information related to the case and interviewing those involved.
Our goal is to be able to provide information on the outcome of the OPS investigation by the end of next
week. At that time, we will also share relevant policy documents that apply to such reviews. These
include:
 The new Use of Force Policy which has been updated since Chief Buckner joined the Department
seven months ago
 The Department’s Body Worn Camera Policy which continues to undergo review and revision
 The City local law on noise or “sound reproduction” under which the original officer intervention
occurred
 Information regarding policies and practices on placing officers on administrative leave
 State Civil Service Law 50-a which guides the disclosure of information regarding police
discipline
 Training and learning topics that will be point of emphasis for recruits, current officers and
citizens
In addition to sharing this information with news media, we will make it available online and will also
carry any public announcement live on social media. After this process is complete, we will conduct
public forums on the use of force, so we can listen to and learn from each other. We will continue to
provide training and assistance to our officers, who have an immensely difficult job to do, one that
sometimes must involve the use of force.
The conversation that has occurred in Syracuse over the last week involves a concern being discussed in
communities around the country, but this incident happened in our city. It is the first occasion in the
Chief’s tenure for a public dialogue regarding use of force. While ensuring that all matters occur within
the bounds of law and due process, it is a conversation we must have and one in which we intend to
fully engage.

Thank you.

Ben Walsh Kenton Buckner


Mayor of Syracuse Chief of Police

City of Syracuse Syracuse, New York www.syrgov.net