Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Congratulations to all students who received degrees over the weekend. I commend and applaud you for your accomplishments, especially under the circumstances we have all experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. To all other students and University community members, I wish you all a healthy and restful summer.
As I approach my retirement, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Syracuse University community. During the past six years, I have been fortunate to serve an outstanding student body. Through challenges and successes, our students have helped to make the Department of Public Safety (DPS) a better law enforcement agency. It has been my privilege and honor to serve as your chief and I wish you all warmest regards.
With that being said, I want to provide a status update on our investigations into recent bias incidents.
April 29: An unknown subject completed an online form using language that was derogatory to Asian individuals. Since then, we have:
- Reviewed the content of the online form
- Analyzed several law enforcement databases in an attempt to identify a suspect
- Submitted a formal complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
May 2: A student reported being called a racial slur by the occupant of a vehicle driving by. To investigate, we have:
- Interviewed additional witnesses who came forward
- Reviewed camera footage from the area to identify a possible vehicle involved in the incident
- Ran the vehicle information through multiple vehicle databases
May 12: A group of students, tabling on the Einhorn Family Walk, reported an individual, unaffiliated with the University, stopped by the table and made bias comments about the subject of their student group. The students reported to DPS that the conversation and the individual’s erratic behavior made them uncomfortable, enough in fact to report the suspicious encounter. In response to this incident, we:
- Immediately escorted the individual, who is not affiliated with our University, off campus
- Worked to identify the individual’s real name; the person provided a fake name to DPS
- Increased patrols on Einhorn Family Walk
May 15: Two separate off-campus bias incidents were reported. The first occurred on Saturday, May 15, near the corner of Westcott Street and Hawthorne Street. A group of students reported a vehicle driving by with the occupants shouting language that was derogatory and offensive to the LGBTQ community. On the same day, another student reported as they were walking down University Avenue, toward Madison Street, a vehicle drove by that also had occupants shouting language that was derogatory and offensive to the LGBTQ community. DPS has:
- Reviewed camera footage from the area but to date, have been unsuccessful identifying a possible vehicle involved in the incident
- Run the vehicle information through multiple vehicle databases
If you have information about this case or others, please call DPS at 315.443.2224. You can also anonymously report non-emergency information to DPS through the Silent Witness tool or the Rave Guardian mobile 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 can subscribe to receive reports on the Bias Incident Reports page.
I look forward to sharing a few more updates with you over the upcoming months before I retire.
Chief Bobby Maldonado