Mayor, police chief say resource officers will stay in Syracuse schools

Several options to secure schools have been weighed formally and informally from adding metal detectors, placing more armed officers in schools and arming school teachers themselves.

At CNY Central's Town Hall "Safe at School," Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler was asked about the Syracuse PBA's call to remove resource officers from schools.

His repose was clear and to-the-point.

"I run the Syracuse Police Department. We will have our school information resource officers in our high schools," Chief Fowler said.

His commitment to keeping students safe was echoed by Mayor Ben Walsh.

"Knowing that we have school resource officers that have developed relationships with our young people, that are in a position to protect them, that is something that's important to me. I know it's important to Chief Fowler, and it's important to the school district," Mayor Walsh said.

The comments come in response to the city's police union president, Jeff Piedmonte's call for officers to be taken out of school buildings.

Piedmonte cites concerns for officer safety created by what he calls a 'minimal discipline policy.'

Piedmonte's comments were issued last month after an officer was removed from Nottingham High School over a controversial student arrest.

The district still has about a dozen SROs spread across the various schools.

As far as the potential for adding additional officers, the mayor says it's on the table.

"It's an on-going conversation. We're in regular communication with the school district, with the police department, with the PBA. We want to make sure everyone is on the same page, and the fact is we all care about our children. It's all about keeping them safe, and we think the police department is a really important part of that equation," Mayor Walsh said.

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