Syracuse police chief to "reorganize" the department

CHIEF BUCKNER.transfer_frame_27.png

Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner has been on the job for about three months, and said now, it is time to make some changes.

"We are going through a process currently to where we're reorganizing the police department that will include a restructuring of how we're delivering our services," said Buckner.

At a round-table discussion on Thursday at the Warehouse Gallery near Armory Square, Buckner said he has several priorities for the department he now heads: build trust with the community, strengthen policies and oversight, and use data to fight crime.

"We will gather, analyze and disseminate information to our police force, our external partners and then we deploy our services based upon what the data tells us," said Buckner.

Buckner is also looking to change the workforce.

He is taking more than 10 officers off desk duty and putting them back on the streets.

He said in part to increase efficiency and response times.

"I think that's part of the metric we want to measure that the decisions that we made are impactful. Certainly, our response to our citizens is one of those things that we'll be looking at," said Buckner.

The chief said he will hire civilians to fill the open jobs in the office.

Buckner is also in the process of hiring 39 more officers that will begin this spring.

He is also evaluating his current officers.

"For our bad officers, we're going to modify your behavior through training, discipline, education, awareness and you'll get a chance to remain in our barrel - and then there are some people who rotten to the core. that we're going to say, 'you know what? you can't wear our uniform and badge anymore," said Buckner.

The changes are an effort to help curb crime, modernize the department, build public trust and department accountability.

"I have to make sure we're doing business the right way, and that the officers are supported when they're right, and also, that they're held accountable when they misstep" said Buckner.

There are several other policy and procedure changes in the department's future.

It is unclear when the new policies and procedures will be rolled out.

Buckner said he will eventually hold several more public forums.

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