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Police Chief: 'We certainly need more police officers'

POLICE STAFFING.transfer_frame_2546.png

It's a public safety issue that continues to be at the forefront in the city of Syracuse.

On Wednesday, it caused a lot of back and fourth at a Common Council meeting.

This comes after Mayor Stephanie Miner said this on Tuesday about police staffing: "That's not what they said, they said they'd like more officers, they want more officers," Miner said.

Police Chief Frank Fowler contradicted the Mayor's comments on Wednesday.

"For me, I would categorize it as a need and I don't know if Mayor Miner said that, or if it was taken out of context, but we certainly need more police officers," Fowler said.

Fowler said he has asked the Mayor to hire more officers and said Miner has told him it is not financially sustainable.

He said more officers would give the department a faster response time and reduce crime in the city.

"Let me be clear to anyone listening. I would love to have more police officers, but I don't want to have police officers for six months and then have to turn around to lay them off, " Fowler said.

Miner maintains the current staffing levels for all city department is adequate for now.

"We have enough parks department employees, enough code enforcement officers, enough police officers, enough fire department officials to keep the City of Syracuse safe," Miner said.

Fowler said the next few months will be difficult for the police departments because several officers plan to retire. Miner said at that point, staffing levels should be re-evaluated.

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