Syracuse Mayor Miner responds to Crime Lab report that criticizes Syracuse Police

The New York State Inspector General cleared the Onondaga County Crime Lab after serious allegations were made by the Syracuse Police Department in the fall of last year. The Inspector General found no evidence to support the allegations, but included criticism of the Syracuse Police Department. On Tuesday, Mayor Stephanie Miner tells CNY Central that she is standing by the Police Department.

The complaint was filed by Deputy Police Chief Shawn Broton and is part of an ongoing dispute between the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office and the Syracuse Police Department. (Read the full report.)

Broton claims the crime lab was too closely aligned with the DA's office. He made a number of serious allegations that were investigated by the State Inspector General's Office.

The report not only vindicates the crime lab, but it criticizes the Police Department for not fully understanding how the process works.

According to the inspector general's report, Chief Broton complained of an inappropriate line of communication with the DAâ??s office and a lack of communication with the crime lab and police. He also claims a 2005 firearms test may be inaccurate and that there are incomplete examinations and improper lab procedures.

The state investigation determined there was no serious negligence or misconduct, the police department did not appear to fully understand the crime lab's procedures and authority, and the SPD failed to ensure that its command receive training by the crime lab.

Though it would appear Chief Broton's complaint may have backfired, Mayor Stephanie Miner is standing by her police department.

"Nowhere in that report does it call into question the leadership, competence or the professionalism of the police department. It says they need to communicate with the crime lab," says Miner.

The Inspector General's report stated, "The police department's disagreements with the District Attorney's Office clearly demonstrate the Syracuse Police's lack of understanding of the DA's jurisdiction, authority and ultimate responsibility for prosecuting cases."

But Mayor Miner implies the problem rests with Fitzpatrick.

"They have to step away from the crime lab, instead the district attorney has used this as another cudgel to hit the police chief over the head," says Miner. "At what point does the District Attorney focus on doing his job and let the police department do its job."

The report recommends the crime lab offer training to city police, but Mayor Miner says that happens routinely anyway.

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