DPS News

Public Safety Informational Notice

On Monday, February 11, at 6:15 p.m., it was reported that an unknown male was found in the office of a faculty member at the Whitman School of Management. When observed, the male quickly left the area without incident. Besides the fact that this individual was trespassing on University property, no other crime was reported, at this time.

The male is described as 5’7” to 5’9”, thin build, 17 to 20 years of age, dressed in a puffy black coat, gray sweatshirt and sweatpants and was last seen leaving the west entrance of the building, toward University Avenue.

DPS detectives are actively investigating this incident. If you have information about this incident please contact the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224.

As a reminder, please keep in mind these safety strategies:

  • Always lock your windows and doors, even if you are only going to be away from your room or office for a short period of time.
  • Keep your personal belongings with you! Never leave cell phones, laptops, wallets or other valuables behind—it only takes a few seconds for someone to walk away with them.
  • If you see something suspicious, please report it to the Department of Public Safety.

Statement from Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado

Syracuse University is steadfast in its commitment to provide a safe campus environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. We will continue to take strong measures to protect all members of our campus community. Acts of violence and intolerance of any kind, including those based on race, contradicts our values and will not be tolerated.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, our Department of Public Safety notified the campus community about a crime that occurred on Ackerman Avenue. The information provided in the public safety notice was, at the time, the most current account of the events. Because the incident occurred off campus, the City of Syracuse Police Department (SPD) is leading the investigation, which continues at this time. Our Department of Public Safety is working closely with SPD to apprehend those responsible for this crime and to prevent future occurrences. We are in frequent communication with the SPD and will provide updates to our campus community when they are available. Not all details can be released at this time because they may compromise the ongoing investigation.

When serious crimes occur on or nearby campus, we use public safety notices as a tool for communicating to our campus community, particularly if there is an active crime scene. The information in the public safety notice includes a brief and the most current description of the crime and the perpetrator as described by the victim or witnesses. Syracuse University does not identify a perpetrator’s race in these alerts in deference to previously expressed community concerns about racial profiling. We are constantly evaluating our practices and welcome input from our students, faculty and staff.

Public Safety Update: Assault

On Saturday, February 9, 2019, at approximately 12:40 a.m., three students reported being approached by an unknown female in the 800 block of Ackerman Avenue. The students say the female displayed what appeared to be a silver handgun and struck the students with the gun. The suspect fled the scene on foot, heading north on Ackerman Avenue towards Euclid Avenue. All three students sustained minor injuries and declined medical treatment.

If you were in the vicinity at the time of this incident, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) asks for your help in identifying the suspect. Female, early 20s, brown shoulder length hair, wearing a gray jacket and dark pants. No further description was provided.

If you have any information regarding this incident or others, please contact the Syracuse Police Department at 315.442.5222 or the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224. If you would like to anonymously report NON-EMERGENCY information for DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool.

For your safety, please review these suggested safety strategies.

This public safety information is issued for your safety in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act.

Public Safety Notice: Assault

On Saturday, February 9, 2019 at approximately 12:40 a.m., DPS received a report of an assault that occurred at the 800 block of Ackerman Avenue. A handgun was possibly displayed. The Syracuse Police Department and the Department of Public Safety are on the scene and investigating this incident. We ask that you stay away from the area, at this time and that you call DPS at 315.443.2224, should you have information regarding this incident. More information to follow.

Syracuse University to Remain Open Today (Jan. 31, 2019)

After reviewing the most up-to-date National Weather Service data and following consultation with an independent meteorologist this morning, Syracuse University will remain open today (Thursday, Jan. 31). However, and as always, campus community members should be aware and take precautions when severe weather is in the area. For more information, visit news.syr.edu.

Nighttime Classes Canceled Today

Due to extreme cold temperatures forecasted for this evening through early tomorrow morning, with wind chills reaching as low as -30 degrees, Syracuse University has determined to cancel all nighttime classes as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Additionally, all University-sponsored events scheduled for this evening are canceled. The University otherwise remains open at this time. For more information, visit news.syr.edu.

Wind Chill Warning Issued, Bitterly Cold Temperatures Forecasted

Syracuse University is currently monitoring and assessing weather conditions for Wednesday, Jan. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 31. This effort includes reviewing the most up-to-date National Weather Service data and forecasting, and consulting with an independent meteorologist.

At this time, a Wind Chill Warning has been issued for Onondaga County. According to the National Weather Service, this means wind chills could get as low as -20 degrees by 6 p.m. and as low as -35 degrees by midnight on Thursday, Jan. 31. Snow squalls and wind gusts as high as 35 miles per hour are also expected.

Based on current conditions, the University expects to remain open and operational on Wednesday, Jan. 30. However, and as always, campus community members should be aware and take precautions when severe weather is in the area.

The University will continue to evaluate the forecast and anticipated conditions. If a change in the University’s operating status becomes necessary, it will be announced:

  • via campus email;
  • on the University’s campus Twitter account, @SUCampus;
  • on the University’s campus Facebook page, @SUCampus;
  • on news.syr.edu and syracuse.edu; and
  • via the Syracuse University radio station WAER-FM/88.3 and other local media outlets.

In anticipation of the frigid temperatures, Syracuse University’s Office of Health Services and the Department of Public Safety are reminding students, faculty and staff about steps they can take to stay safe, including:

  • Dress to stay warm and dry, including wearing a hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens (they are warmer than gloves), water-resistant coat and shoes, several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
  • Avoid ice. Take the time to carefully walk around icy ground. Choose footwear that will enable you to “get a grip.”
  • Be cautious about travel. Before driving, check for weather advisories. Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads if at all possible. If you must travel, try to travel with a friend, and take a cell phone with you.

Finally, if you’re traveling across campus, be aware of and take advantage of resources available to you:

To learn more about winter weather preparedness, visit the Department of Public Safety’s website or SU Health Services’ Winter Health page.

Senior Detective Ed Weber Retires from the Department of Public Safety

Chief Maldonado and the men and women of the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety wish to thank Senior Detective Edward Weber for his years of service to the University.

After a 46-year career as a police officer, deputy sheriff, sergeant, lieutenant, and eventually senior detective, Edward Weber is retiring after 18 years of service with the Department of Public Safety.

Senior Detective Weber consistently provided exemplary service to the University and displayed commitment to the safety and well-being of the campus community. Senior Detective Weber received numerous awards over the years and will always be remembered as a leader, an experienced instructor, and mentor in the law enforcement profession.

Senior Detective Weber will continue to serve his community as a councilman and Town Supervisor in the Town of Geddes. The loyalty, pride, and experience Ed brought to his duties will be sorely missed.

Senior Detective Weber, congratulations and best wishes! Senior Detective Weber, Signal 94.

Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public To Comment

A team of assessors from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) will arrive on campus Sunday, Feb. 3, to examine all aspects of the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) policy and procedures, management, operation and support services, Chief Bobby Maldonado announced today. To learn more, visit news.syr.edu.

Public Safety Informational Notice: Email Scam

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, members of the Syracuse University community reported receiving a fraudulent email scam relating to Bitcoin. This scam is currently happening across the country and the messages are very similar in nature. This scam is being investigated by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. There is no threat to the Syracuse University community but we wanted you to be aware so you can remain vigilant when opening your email.

Please direct questions or concerns to the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224.

Challenge Coin Ceremony for New Peace Officers

 Officers (left to right) Dishaw, Branch, Ramirez & Alvarez standing together holding up their challenge coins
Officers (left to right) Dishaw, Branch, Ramirez and Alvarez

At the end of last week, we held challenge coin ceremony’s for our seven officers who recently completed their field training. Never heard of a challenge coin ceremony? Learn the history below:

During WWI, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Harvard and Yale who quit mid-term to join the war. In one squadron a lieutenant ordered medallions struck on solid bronze carrying the squadron emblem for every member of his squadron. He carried his medallion in a pouch around his neck. Shortly after acquiring the medallions, the pilot’s aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire. He was forced to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German patrol. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took his uniform and all personal identification except for the small leather pouch around his neck not realizing the significance of the coin.

Taking advantage of a bombardment that night, he escaped. However, he was without personal identification. He succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front lines. With great difficulty he crossed no-man’s land. Eventually he stumbled into a French outpost. Unfortunately, the

Officer Lebron presenting Officer Pearson with challenge coin while shaking hands.
Officer Pearson (left) with Peace Officer Academy Director, Dan Lebron (right).

French in his sector had been plagued by saboteurs. The saboteurs sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot’s American accent and since he

had no uniform or any form or identification, the French thought he was a saboteur and were going to execute him. Just in time he remembered the coin in the leather pouch. He showed the coin

to his would be executioners. His French captors recognized the squadron symbol on the coin and delayed long enough to confirm his identity whereupon they shared a bottle of wine with him. They were challenging him to prove that he was one of them, that they shared the same cause and

the coin saved his life.

Back at his squadron, and after hearing his story, it became a tradition to ensure that all members carried their coin at all times. This was accomplished by a challenge conducted in the following manner:

Challenge Coin Rules

  • The challenge is initiated by drawing your coin, holding it in the air by whatever means possible and state, shout or otherwise verbally acknowledge that you are initiating a coin check. You may also place it or strike it on a hard surface such as a table. If you accidentally drop your coin and it makes an audible sound it is still considered a challenge.
  • The response consists of all those present responding in a like manner within 15 seconds. At the time of the challenge you are allowed one step and an arm’s reach to locate your coin. All coin holders present will participate during a challenge. A response can be with any other challenge coin.
  • If there is a challenge and a person is unable to respond then the individual(s) without their coin are required to buy a meal and or beverage of choice for the individual who issued the challenge.
  • If everyone being challenged responds with their coin then the person who challenged is required to buy a meal for all those he/she challenged.
  • Failure to buy a meal and or beverage is considered despicable and a failure of unit trust. Some units require that you return your coin should you do so.
  • Officers Zaccari, Welling, & Bennett standing together holding up challenge coins
    Officers (left to right) Zaccari, Welling, and Bennett

    Coin checks are allowed anytime, anywhere and anyplace.

  • There are no exceptions to the rule.
  • An organization or unit coin is a coin. Belt buckles are belt buckles, key chains are key chains. However a coin placed in some fashion around the neck is considered a coin.
  • You are responsible for your coin. If someone else is looking at or accidentally drops your coin on a hard surface you are responsible for the consequences of the challenge. However, no one can borrow your coin and force a challenge.
  • Once you agree to carry a coin it comes with an obligation of group loyalty and traditions of the coin. Don’t accept a coin if you do not share the values and beliefs of the group shared with a willingness to respect the traditions of the challenge coin.

If you carry this coin you do so with an obligation to those ideals it embraces and all challenge coin rules apply. May you carry the coin in good spirit, good health and always with a sense of nobility.