DPS News

Public Informational Notice: Suspicious Activity

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating several complaints that we want to make the community aware of. First, DPS is investigating a group of young boys aggressively and physically harassing members of the campus community. The boys are described as 12-16 years of age and have been observed walking or lingering around the Einhorn Family Walk and the Schine Student Center, near the West Campus Apartments and on South Crouse Avenue.

Additionally, DPS is also investigating reports of a suspicious vehicle, whose occupants shout out the windows, verbally harassing pedestrians as they pass by with hate and bias speech. The vehicle in question is a black Nissan Rouge with gold New York license plates. The occupants are described as four college-aged males.

“Our investigations team has been hard at work meeting with witnesses and reviewing camera footage from the incidents above; we ask that anyone with information to please come forward” shared Chief Bobby Maldonado. “Please make sure you are aware of your surroundings and if you are approached by anyone consistent with the description or if you see this vehicle, to not engage these individuals and call DPS immediately” he added.

Should you have any information or knowledge regarding these incidents or others, contact the DPS at 315.443.2224. If you would like to anonymously report NON-EMERGENCY information for DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool or via the Rave Guardian app.

The University recognizes how these incidents can affect individuals and communities. If you or someone you know has been affected by a bias incident, there are resources available to you:

 

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

Orange Alert System Test Scheduled for Tuesday, May 11

The Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct a test of the Orange Alert Campus Crisis Alert Notification System on Tuesday, May 11 at 3:10 p.m. It will be a full test of the system which includes notifications sent via email, text message, and voice call. The test will also include the Orange Alert outdoor siren system on the University’s North and South campuses. The sirens will be activated for two minutes at 3:10 p.m.

To learn more, visit news.syr.edu.

April 2021 Updates from DPS

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

With more people being vaccinated and the desire to celebrate the end of the academic year, please remember public health guidance still recommends that you wear your mask, maintain social distancing practices, and gather with no more than 10 people only if your space allows for 6 feet of distance between each person. For more information, visit the Stay Safe website.

In this monthly update, I will address:

  • Loretta Lynch report recommendation progress
  • New peace officer academy
  • Cyber security
  • Bias investigations

Loretta Lynch Report Recommendation Progress

As we continue our work on the recommendations from the Loretta Lynch report, we have set up a page on our website to share the status of our work.

We will be updating this webpage regularly but will also share major updates in this monthly email communication.

New Peace Officer Academy

I am pleased to announce that we will be hosting a peace officer academy beginning this summer. The position was just recently posted to sujobopps.com and we are actively recruiting. From the Loretta Lynch report, we have made many positive changes to our academy training program and we look forward to adding new individuals to our team.

Cyber Security

Scammers are becoming more creative every day. They are sending phishing emails and text messages that claim to be from people, businesses or organizations you know. Please take a moment to review important tips on how to not fall victim to these scams from the ITS Security department.

Social media is another place where scammers are getting your information. Be wary of allowing too much personal information to be made public, including your full name, date of birth, contact information, location, etc. Make sure to review your privacy settings and set up two-step authentication when you can to help make your account more secure.

Monthly Bias Update

Since my communication last month, I have no new updates to share on the status of our investigations. As we do have updates, we will update our chart on the website, and share any developments in this monthly email. It is also never too late to come forward with information. You can call the DPS at 315.443.2224, submit information anonymously via the Silent Witness tool or the Rave Guardian mobile app. In addition, to report a bias incident or to receive support, visit the Stop Bias website.

I wish all our students the best of luck as they wrap up the remainder of the semester.

Sincerely,
Chief Bobby Maldonado

Department of Public Safety Transitions to New Safety App

As part of its ongoing commitment to campus safety, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is transitioning to Rave Guardian, a free mobile app that turns any smartphone into a personal safety device. Rave Guardian will replace the LiveSafe app, which will no longer be available to Syracuse University users beginning Friday, Feb. 26.

Rave Guardian offers all of the same features that users have grown accustomed to, including reporting tips, having a friend or family member watch them safely walk across campus, quickly connecting with DPS or 911 and important campus links and phone numbers.

To learn more, visit news.syr.edu.

March 2021 Updates from DPS

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.

Sincerely,
Chief Bobby Maldonado

Message From Loretta E. Lynch

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

I write to share with you the report [PDF] that my team and I have drafted in connection with our independent review of the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS).

In our report [PDF], we review DPS’s conduct and performance with respect to the events of fall 2019 and spring 2020, including the investigation of bias-related incidents and the handling of protests on campus, along with its commitment to community policing more broadly. We make a number of recommendations that we believe would improve DPS’s relationship with the community. We also review and recommend changes to DPS policies and procedures to ensure they are consistent with best practices in community policing. Lastly, our report presents our final recommendations for the structure and procedures for the Community Review Board, which will further promote accountability for DPS.

To read the full message, visit news.syr.edu.