DPS News

Officer Franklin Recognized

This morning, at the Center of Excellence, Community Services Officer Franklin was recognized for her actions as it related to a larceny investigation. She was presented with the following letter:

I would like to recognize you on your individual actions relative to a Larceny investigation that occurred on August 6, 2018 at 727 E. Washington Street, The Center of Excellence (COE).

As you arrived at work on this date, you noticed some of your personal belongings were missing from a desk you maintain in the lobby of the building. You took the initiative to check the CCTV cameras in and around the building. At 2:08 am, you were able to capture a person of interest pulling on the entrance doors eventually finding an open door. This person was then observed entering the building and rummaging through the desk, you operate during your tour of duty. The camera footage was saved and turned over to the responding DPS Patrol Officer who completed a report under case number 18-405106.

Officer Franklin being presented recognition letter by Detective Toia

The next evening on August 7, 2018 this same person of interest came back to the Center of Excellence (COE) and tried to gain entry, however this time she was denied. You once again took the initiative to check the CCTV cameras and two still photos were captured and forwarded to the DPS Investigations Section for further review.

As a result of your work, the photos were distributed to the different police agencies in Onondaga County through the Onondaga County Crime Analysis Unit. As a result, an identification was made by a member of the Syracuse Police Department Patrol Section and an arrest was made on the person captured in the photos you provided for Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree and Petit Larceny.

Your actions reflect your commitment to the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety and the University community and are characteristic of your individual and collective concern for the safety and security of all members of the community. You have done much to advance the Department of Public Safety’s reputation as a professional law enforcement entity. You have brought great credit upon yourself and the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety and you have set a fine example for other officers to follow.

It is my pleasure to award you this letter of recognition.

Sincerely,

Detective Michael Toia

What is Orange Alert?

Orange Alert is Syracuse University’s crisis notification system. Watch this short video to learn more.

For more information, including frequently asked questions, visit the Orange Alert page on our website.

2018 Emergency Drill

On Tuesday, July 31, the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS), Fire and Life Services (FLSS), and Syracuse University Ambulance (SUA), teamed up with the Syracuse Fire Department for a fire drill at the Biological Research Laboratories (BRL) building. 

The mock scenario involved four individuals inside the building where the fire was reported, as well as manikins, which all had to be evacuated.

DPS and FLSS officers arrived at BRL and quickly determined which floors had smoke conditions and provided that information to the Syracuse Fire Department, who was en route.

Upon arrival, the Syracuse Fire Department, sent a team inside to perform a search and used their bucket truck to assist with reaching the high floors to put out the mock fire.

Once the drill was complete, the Chiefs held a mock press conference with students from Newhouse as part of an assignment for their class.

2018 Peace Officer Academy Graduation

On Friday, July 13, the Department of Public Safety held the 2018 Campus Peace Officer Academy Graduation at Drumlins in Syracuse. Colleagues, friends, and family joined the seven graduates as they completed the program by receiving their diploma’s.

The graduates included:

Eugenio D. Alvarez
Jonathon B. Bennett
Falasha B. Branch
Joseph V. Dishaw
Joseph P. Hernon
Brad A. Pearson
Liztazia I. Ramirez
Dustin F. White
Jessica L. Zaccari
Marissa A. Ziemba

Special honors went to:

Valedictorian—Falasha B. Branch, Syracuse University Department of Public Safety
Physical Fitness Award—Eugenio D. Alvarez, Syracuse University Department of Public Safety and Marissa A. Ziemba, Onondaga Community College Public Safety
Top Gun Award—Dustin White, Onondaga Community College Public Safety

The graduates are now completing their time as field training officers.

Results of Community Survey on Body Worn Cameras

The Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers have been equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) since October of 2015. The department’s goal is to establish a model program, utilizing best practices to be shared with other law enforcement partners, and to continue to improve community relations and professional standards within the department.

As part of these efforts and research, the DPS issued a survey to random Syracuse University community members, including students, faculty, and staff, in February of 2018. Several survey questions asked respondents to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about the BWC program. Questions, asked respondents about improving public and officer safety, trust, and transparency of interactions, and providing valuable evidence. Questions also included respondent comfort levels talking to officers equipped with BWCs in different scenarios including as a victim, witness, being questioned or arrested, and asking officers for general information. Responses were recorded on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

Over 85% of respondents to the survey strongly agree/agree that they support the DPS having BWCs. Additionally; over 80% of respondents strongly agree/agree/somewhat agree that the BWC program improves public and officer safety, trust, and transparency of interactions, and providing valuable evidence.

Over 80% of respondents also strongly agree/agree/somewhat agree that they would feel comfortable talking to officers equipped with BWCs in different scenarios including as a victim, witness, being questioned or arrested, and asking officers for general information; with less than 15% indicating that they would not feel comfortable.

Just under 45% of respondents to the survey were students, with the graduate student population being the highest to respond; with the remainder of respondents being staff and faculty, almost 50% of these respondents were staff.

Overall, there were many comments in the survey supporting the BWC program. To address questions asked in the survey including privacy of recorded information, when people are being recorded, training of officers, operability of cameras, and videos as evidence in court, please refer to the Body Worn Camera Policy.

We would like to thank our community members who participated in the survey, as your feedback is valuable in continuing to establish a model program.

Message from DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado

Dear Campus Community,

I’m writing to provide an update on the investigation of the Theta Tau fraternity and its members.

Since Wednesday my office, in conjunction with Student Affairs, investigated and filed complaints against 18 individuals, all of whom were present at the sponsored event. Our investigation is ongoing and others may be implicated in the coming days.

Out of an abundance of caution and ongoing concern for our campus community, Provost Michele Wheatly and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky notified the 18 students of their removal from academic participation, effective immediately. Alternative class and study arrangements will be made for these students as the judicial process moves forward.

We have not and will not release the videos that are a part of our investigation. It is imperative that we preserve the evidence to be used in individual conduct cases. In addition, my office will not be party to the distribution of this hateful and hurtful content.

Chief Bobby Maldonado

Four Questions About Drone Use on Campus

Syracuse University has instituted guidelines regarding the use of drones on campus. These guidelines were established to help the University community operate drones safely, responsibly, and legally. We recently turned to Michaele DeHart, director of Risk Management, for answers on some commonly asked questions. For more information about drone use on campus, visit http://riskmanagement.syr.edu/policies-and-procedures/drones/.

To see the full article, visit news.syr.edu.

Text SUSafe to 444-999 to Download Important University Contacts

The Divisions of Campus Safety and Emergency Services and Enrollment and the Student Experience are piloting a new initiative to make storing relevant campus safety information on your cell phone easier. Tomorrow, you will receive a text message to your cell phone with a link to download contact cards that contain information for the following campus resources:

  • Department of Public Safety
  • Safety Escorts
  • Syracuse University Ambulance
  • Counseling Center
  • Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team
  • Title IX Office
  • Student Assistance

Once you download the contact cards, it will automatically save information, including phone numbers, e-mail addresses, websites, and other links, for the above listed resources, to the address book in your cell phone.

If you do not want to wait for the text to be sent to your cell phone, text “SUSafe” to 444-999 to get both contact cards added to your cell phone today.

Once you send the text, follow the instructions below to download the contact cards:

  1. You will receive a text with a download link shorty after.
  2. Click the download link in your texting application. You will now be brought to a KeynectUp web page with a link to the contact card.
  3. Click “download card” or “open in contacts” on the KeynectUp web page. The contact card will now be brought to your contact book.
  4. Click “save” or “open in contacts” on the web page. That is it, you are done!

If you have any problems with downloading the card, you can reach out to KeynectUp directly via text or phone call at 603.531.3211 or by email at support@keynectup.com.

Public Safety Update: Robbery

On Sunday, May 13, 2018, at approximately 11:15 p.m., a student reported, while walking in the 900 block of Comstock Avenue, they were approached by three unknown males. One of the males displayed what appeared to be a grey handgun and demanded the student’s property. The student gave the males their backpack, wallet, and cellphone. The suspects fled the scene on foot northbound on Comstock Avenue, then east on Acorn Path away from campus. No injuries were reported.

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 suspects. All three suspects were described as males in their late teens to early twenties, all wearing dark clothing, including hooded sweatshirts. No further description.

If anyone has 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: Robbery

On Sunday, May 13, 2018 at approximately 11:15 p.m., DPS received a report of a robbery that occurred in the 900 block of Comstock Avenue near Oakwood Cemetery. 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.

Associate Chief Sardino Receives Award from the Central New York Chiefs of Police Association

Last night, Associate Chief John Sardino, received the Law Enforcement Commendation Award from the Central New York Chiefs of Police Association.

Below you will find the nomination that was submitted which lead to Associate Chief Sardino receiving this award:

Associate Chief John Sardino has a record of superior operational management of the patrol, investigations, crime prevention, and special event functions of Syracuse University’s law enforcement unit with the Department of Public Safety. Moreover, he has demonstrated notable skill and made exemplary contributions to managing law enforcement, safety and security crises. In the past year, John has effectively managed student assemblies and protests, both on campus an off, providing safe spaces for voices to be heard. He was often the commanding officer overseeing special events at the Carrier Dome. He led behind-the-scenes efforts to effectively communicate with DPS union leaders and support resolution of the most recent labor contract. John’s leadership and long-standing relationship with the command team at the Syracuse Police Department continues to be a mutually beneficial law enforcement partnership that is a model for university law enforcement and local police around the country. Within the DPS, John’s skills and respect within the department continue to expand his leadership roles.

In a recent crisis, John coordinated law enforcement efforts to manage effectively a threat case on behalf of the University. He exceeded expectations in coordinating University efforts with various local and federal law enforcement agencies. He also served as a central point of contact for university stakeholders who had direct relationships with the potential threat actor succeeding in both effectively gathering critical information and managing the anxiety of potential targets. At the beginning of this academic year, during the initial challenges of a campus mumps outbreak, John almost single-handedly located and made face to face contact with the 100 remaining students who needed to provide vaccination records to campus health services over the first weekend of the outbreak. Perhaps one of his most significant contributions to resolving a safety crisis was when he managed the 2014 response, supervision and mitigation of an 18-day sit-in in the University’s main administrative building. He invested nearly sixteen hours per day in managing the deployment of plain clothed officers, negotiating directly with protesters, maintaining safety for them, limiting the spread of the protest, and ensuring continued operation of the building for administrative functions and classes.

In his role as Associate Chief, John has never sought recognition nor asked for any additional compensation for his many extra hours of leadership and service. His 30 plus years of dedicated law enforcement service to the students, faculty, staff and visitors of Syracuse University is both distinguished and appreciated.

Congratulations to Associate Chief Sardino for this much deserved award.

DPS Residential Security Aid Receives Award from the Office of Residence Life

Earlier this month, Jason Smyth, Residential Security Aid (RSA), posted at Watson Hall, received a Spotlight of the Year Award on behalf of the Office of Residence Life. This award recognizes an outstanding person who is NOT a member of the Office of Residence Life including, but not limited to a DPS Officer, faculty/staff member, food service personnel, RSA, student organization, etc. for their outstanding contributions to ORL and Syracuse University community.

Here is the nomination Jason received:

For my time in being a Resident Advisor at Syracuse University, I have met and seen the outstanding work of my peers in this position: Residence Security Advisors who are committed to

Jason Smyth holding Spotlight of the Year Award from the Office of Residence Life in the Drumlins Ballroom

upholding the mission of the Department of Public Safety and embracing the values that it stands for. But none of them have quite impressed me as Jason Smyth as a RSA. Jason is an ou

tstanding RSA for obvious reasons. He has the most positive and radiant personality that immediately makes people feel valued and heard. He listens to the RA staff and residents and brings suggestions or advice when necessary. He greets everyone that passes, while asking how they’re doing or what their plans are for the night. More than anything, his genuine desire to interact with others and build relationships shines through in every conversation. There’s not a single person in the Watson/Sheraton community that has not at least witnessed Jason’s joyful nature.

As the RSA for this semester, Jason serves at the Watson front entrance. His service requires ongoing efforts on his part to facilitate proper resident safety procedures. He commits a large portion of his time just simply conversing with residents to develop a more open community. During his late nights, he is always bring humor and ideas to brighten RAs’ nights. He encourages every staff member to speak about their concerns or just simply chatting. He continues to listen to RA problems and voices any advice he may have for certain situations. One example of this that impacted me personally was when coming back to Watson after a day of multiple projects and struggling with roommate conflicts. It had been a long day, filled with unexpected events that made me feel overwhelmed, and stressed. I walked by Jason and he asked how I was doing. We ended up having a long conversation and offered advice to help lighten my day; He has yet to know how much that moment completely made my night. I ended that night feeling encouraged and comfortable, and it’s all thanks to his earnest words and kind actions.

Jason’s list of positive contributions to our community could be listed on and on, and I’m confident that everyone who knows him personally would agree with that. The most impressive thing about Jason to me, beyond his motivating personality, is how much he values his position as a RSA on campus. He recognizes the potential of a position like this, especially as it pertains to the lives of our residents and building staff. He understands the issues that impact SU students on a daily basis, and does his best to fit their needs and be there for anyone who needs a friend. Jason is a naturally born leader who is determined to help others in every capacity. I highly recommend that he be considered for this honor; He has been nominated multiple times within the past year alone, and it’s been established as to what an asset he is to residence halls and our community. I know that he would also be extremely honored to receive a recognition like this, as his hard work definitely deserves it.

Congratulations, Jason! We are honored to have you as part of the Students for Community Safety team at the Department of Public Safety!