Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I hope everyone is having a successful spring semester thus far. As the nicer weather returns to Syracuse, this is a perfect time to remind you about the best way to protect your property. If you open doors and/or windows to let the sun and breeze in, remember to close and lock them when you leave your residence or office, even if it’s just for a short time.
In this monthly update, I will address:
- Bias investigations
- Loretta Lynch report recommendation progress
- Rave Guardian safety app
- See something, say something
Monthly Bias Update
First, a status update on our investigations into recent bias incidents.
March 10: Flyers posted in academic buildings (Eggers Hall, Huntington Hall and the Hall of Languages) on campus containing language derogatory to Chinese individuals.
- Building-by-building searches for additional flyers (none were found)
- CCTV footage review (flyers were posted outside the range of cameras)
- Interviewed multiple individuals (to date, no witnesses or suspects have been identified)
Feb. 27: A student was walking into an off-campus apartment when two unknown individuals reportedly used anti-Asian language.
- Immediate interview of the victim and canvass of the area
- No available CCTV footage of the area (other cameras outside the immediate area reviewed but did not provide any leads)
- Two additional canvasses and interviews of neighbors conducted (this included checking for home security cameras)
Feb. 17: “Zoombombing” Incident
- The account names of the unknown users were run through multiple databases (this did not lead to any viable leads)
- Worked with Syracuse University Information Technology Services to identify IP addresses (the individuals used methods to obscure their true location to avoid identification)
- Syracuse Police Department, State Police and the FBI were all notified about this incident
We ask for our community’s help as we to work to identify those responsible for these incidents. To report a bias incident or to report information about a previous incident, please contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) directly at 315.443.2224. If you would like to anonymously report NON-EMERGENCY information to DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool or submit anonymous tips via the Rave Guardian app. Any bias-motivated incident reported to DPS will be posted on our public site, so that our campus community can remain informed. You can also report a bias incident and receive support through the STOP Bias website. You may subscribe to the bias incident page at dps.syr.edu/public-information/bias-incident-reports.
Loretta Lynch Report Recommendation Progress
On Feb. 22, 2021, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch shared the report that she and her team drafted after completing their independent review of our department.
Since that time, the staff at DPS has been establishing a plan to meet these recommendations and has already completed some of the work. This includes:
- We published a page on our website that will host our policies and procedures.
- Our Duty Manual and a number of other standard operating procedures have been published on the Policies and Procedures page.
- Officers are already on rotation working with our community policing unit.
- We have started to schedule upcoming trainings on hate crimes, procedural justice, principled policing and victims of trauma-informed policing, with additional trainings to be scheduled.
In addition, other work is underway on many of the other recommendations.
Don’t Forget to Download the Rave Guardian Safety App
In January, Syracuse University transitioned from the LiveSafe app to the new Rave Guardian app. LiveSafe is no longer available to the campus community. However, Rave Guardian provides all of the same features that users have grown accustomed to, while additionally providing seamless integration into the Orange Alert system. You are able to report tips anonymously to DPS, utilize the Safe Walk timer, access important campus safety resources and connect with DPS or 911 in the event of an emergency.
If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take the time to visit the Apple or Google Play store and download the app by searching for “Rave Guardian.” To learn more about the new Rave Guardian App, visit the DPS website.
This app is another great way to report the suspicious activity that I share below.
See Something, Say Something
Be aware of your surroundings! Many crimes occur right under the noses of people who just did not notice anything suspicious. Your safety and security ultimately depend on you. You must take responsibility for your own safety.
Suspicious activity is anything even slightly out of the ordinary for the area or time of day in which it occurs. According to the Syracuse Police Department, the most obvious things to watch for and report are:
- Strangers entering your neighbor’s apartment
- Strangers trying doors to see if they are locked
- The sound of breaking glass or other loud noises
- Persons carrying bolt cutters and tools—especially near bicycles
- Persons running—especially if carrying something valuable (They could be leaving a crime scene.)
For those living off campus, report all crime and any suspicious activity to the Syracuse Police Department (911) and for those on campus the Department of Public Safety (315.443.2224).
I hope you find this information useful and valuable as an important member of our campus community. I look forward to sharing more with you over the coming months.
Chief Bobby Maldonado