DPS News

Public Safety Notice – Robbery

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, at approximately 6:45 pm, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) responded to a report of an armed robbery. The victim, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, stated that the incident occurred off-campus outside of 514 Euclid Ave.

The victim reported that he was approached by an unknown suspect who demanded the victim empty his pockets. The victim stated he had nothing in his pockets and showed his empty pockets to the suspect. The suspect then displayed what appeared to be a black handgun and pointed it towards the victim’s feet and demanded the victim hand over his backpack. The victim complied and after taking the backpack, the suspect fled on foot away from campus. The victim left the area, drove to the Syracuse Police Department and reported the incident.

The suspect is described as an adult male wearing a black jacket and a black ski mask covering his face. The suspect was last seen fleeing on foot towards Sumner Avenue from the scene.
The Syracuse Police Department and the Department of Public Safety are continuing to investigate the incident and will provide updates as additional information becomes available

If you were in the vicinity at the time and witnessed the incident, 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.

If you or someone you know has been affected by an incident on or near campus, please know that there are resources available to you. In addition, 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.

April 2024 Updates From the Department of Public Safety

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

It is hard to believe that another year has passed by as we celebrated Commencement this past weekend. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our campus community and well-wishes to all our graduates!

In my last update of the semester, I will touch on:

  • Community Engagement Updates
  • Bicycle, Scooter and Skateboard Safety
  • Employees of the Month
  • Monthly Bias Update

Community Engagement Updates

Our Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services team has been hard at work throughout the semester organizing several community engagement initiatives, including:

Earth Day Clean-Up: In celebration of Earth Day, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) partnered with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to organize a neighborhood clean-up for the second consecutive year. This year, we doubled the number of participants, with more than 200 students taking time out of their weekend to help make a positive difference for our campus community and neighbors. Our team is looking forward to growing this event even more next year.

Safety Stations: In partnership with Title IX and Apartment and Off-Campus Living, DPS held its Safety Stations during the last weekend of April. Hundreds of students stopped by our table set up at 401 Euclid Ave., outside of Lyons Hall. Representatives from the aforementioned offices answered questions and reminded students of important safety tips. We look forward to continuing this initiative in the fall.

Youth Leadership Camp: Our second annual Youth Leadership Camp is slated for the third week of July. This collaboration between Syracuse University DPS and the Syracuse City School District will bring rising ninth graders to campus for a week. The students will partake in an expansive curriculum, including learning sessions that will focus on life, career and other important skills. I look forward to sharing more about this in the coming months.

Bicycle, Scooter and Skateboard Safety

With the warmer weather and more members of our campus community remaining in town for the summer, there will be an increased use of bicycles, scooters or skateboards on campus. Please keep these tips in mind when out and about:

  • Obey traffic signs and signals; bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
  • Always wear your helmet!
  • Use a U-bolt locking device for your bicycle and register your bike with DPS.

We also encourage drivers to be mindful and alert to the increased presence of bicycles, scooters and skateboards and to obey the rules of the road. For more safety tips, visit our website.

Employees of the Month – March 2024

I am pleased to share that Officer John Romano and Community Services Officer (CSO) Larry Whitlock have been selected as our March 2024 Employees of the Month.

Officer Romano is being honored for his pivotal role in apprehending an individual related to a harassment incident on Marshall Street. CSO Whitlock is being recognized for his tireless work ethic and exceptional service provided to the campus community. Congratulations to them both!

Monthly Bias Update

There are no new updates to share. As a reminder, if we do have additional updates they will be posted on the chart on our website and share any developments in this monthly email.

It is also never too late to come forward with information. You can call DPS at 315.443.2224 or submit information anonymously via the Silent Witness tool. In addition, to report a bias incident or to receive support, visit the STOP Bias website.

Go Orange!

Chief Craig A. Stone
Department of Public Safety
Student Experience Division

Verbal Altercation on Quad Results in One Arrest

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We are writing this evening to share an update on an incident that occurred on our campus this afternoon.

A small group of individuals, including three parents, approached the student demonstration taking place on the Quad. Witnesses say one parent was especially aggressive in his verbal treatment of the students. When asked to deescalate by Student Experience staff, the parent refused, escalated to grabbing and tossing students’ food from a table, moving signs and continuing to verbally berate the students in the protest space. At this time, we believe there was no physical contact with protesters. When Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers intervened, they asked the parent to deescalate and depart campus. When the parent refused, he was arrested. The student protesters remained peaceful at all times during the incident.

Harassing behavior or conduct from anyone that creates a safety concern will not be tolerated.

DPS officers and members of the Student Experience team continue to be present at the site of the Quad protest. They remain focused on the safety of every student.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
Senior Vice President and Chief Student Experience Officer

Craig Stone
Associate Vice President and Chief, Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services

Brief Altercation Reported Following Rally at Walnut Park

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We write to update you on an incident that occurred late this afternoon following a pro-Palestine “Community Support Rally” held in Walnut Park, a city park adjacent to Syracuse University. Syracuse Police were aware of the planned rally and had a police presence at the park.

The rally, composed of approximately 50 people, most of whom were not students, was met with a counterprotest, including verbal exchanges but no physical altercation. Subsequently, rally participants marched to the campus Quad where they circled the western section of the Quad once and then dispersed. When some of the participants left campus and returned to Walnut Park, it has been reported that an individual not affiliated with the University gestured the Nazi salute toward a group of students. A brief verbal altercation ensued; it is reported that the non-affiliate then punched a student. The student declined medical attention and did not want to pursue charges.

Syracuse Police, as the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over this matter, is speaking to witnesses to get a better understanding of what transpired and reviewing all available security camera and witness cell phone video footage. If you witnessed or have any information regarding this incident, we ask that you immediately contact the Department of Public Safety or Syracuse Police. You can also share your eyewitness account anonymously through the Orange Safe App. To ensure the safety of our community, there will be an increased law enforcement presence on and around campus in the coming days.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
Senior Vice President and Chief Student Experience Officer

Craig Stone
Associate Vice President and Chief, Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services

Behind the Scenes Heroes: The Impactful Role of Public Safety Dispatchers

Every year, the second week of April marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), a time dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the dedication, service and sacrifices of public safety telecommunicators. The staff of the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) within the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) serve as a prime example of dedication, skill and the vital importance of these individuals. Each year, the dispatchers within the ECC manage nearly 60,000 calls, serving as the first point of contact for the campus community in times of crisis and need.

The ECC team is comprised of highly trained personnel adept at handling a wide range of situations with calmness and efficiency. Whether it’s handling emergency calls, coordinating with DPS officers or providing crucial information during critical incidents, these dispatchers are always ready to offer their support.

“The ECC is the problem-solving center of this campus. Whether it comes to lockouts, dead car batteries or something more serious, we can help or get a hold of the staff who can help solve the problem,” says Michael Wilson, public safety dispatcher. “We even assist our Orange family who study abroad in Florence and London!”

Their work is not just about answering calls; it’s about ensuring the safety and security of students, faculty and staff on campus. They operate 24/7, 365 days a year, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the campus community.

Mateo Tarrats, emergency communications center manager, believes the genuine care of the ECC staff is what makes them special, “Every single person that works on this staff is here because they care about the work they do. This is not an easy occupation. People gravitate towards this kind of work because they genuinely care about the well-being of others.”

The ability to manage tens of thousands of calls per year is not just a testament to their individual skills but also to their collective effort and dedication towards creating a safe and responsive campus environment.

“The most rewarding aspect is knowing every call you are going to be helping someone,” says Shannon Hogue, public safety dispatcher. “We go out of our way to find answers if we do not know them already.”

The ECC staff is always looking to help the campus community with the best service possible. NPSTW serves as a necessary reminder of all the work that happens behind the scenes. The DPS team is always available: Call us 24/7, 365 days a year at 315.443.2224. You can also reach us by dialing #78 (#SU) from your cell phone, dialing 711 from a campus landline or by utilizing the Orange Safe app.

Campus Community Invited to Grand Opening of New DPS Substation on Mar. 29

The Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) new substation at 101 Marshall Street will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, March 29. DPS invites campus community members to stop by from noon-1 p.m. to tour the new facility, enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks, and chat with DPS officials to learn more about safety strategies and available resources.

DPS will also be offering $20 food vouchers to the first 44 students who stop by the event and have the Orange Safe app downloaded.

“This new space allows DPS to enhance our coverage in an area that not only serves our campus community but also visitors and alumni,” says Craig Stone, DPS chief and associate vice president. “I am looking forward to greater engagement with our campus community and welcoming students, faculty and staff to our new space on Friday.”

The hours of operation through the end of the spring semester are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The substation will have extended hours of 10 a.m.-3 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and 6 p.m.-3 a.m. on Saturday. It will be closed on Sunday.

Last year, the University initiated the establishment of the substation at the corner of Marshall Street and South Crouse Avenue. With the Sheraton Hotel and 727 Crouse being converted into student housing, it was vital for DPS to increase its footprint in the area to provide a visible presence to serve the campus community.

Marshall Street is one of the highest-traffic areas surrounding campus, and in addition to the new student housing projects, there are numerous restaurants, bars and shops that bring many visitors and alumni to the area.

DPS provides round-the-clock protection to the Syracuse University campus. Through various patrol and crime prevention efforts, DPS partners with students, faculty and staff to identify, recognize and eliminate crime hazards and risks within the campus community.

DPS Campus Peace Officer Academy Officially Underway

Nine new recruits were sworn into the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) Campus Peace Officer Academy on March 21 by Syracuse Police First Deputy Chief Richard Shoff. Collaborating with the Syracuse Police Department on the swearing-in ceremony serves as an official welcome and endorsement of the joint law enforcement efforts in the University area, and to provide these campus peace officers with the authority to enforce New York State law and local ordinances upon completion of the academy. 

The recruits sworn into this academy class are: 

  • Thomas Bingham 
  • Kit Diana 
  • Donovan Green 
  • Keyatta Green 
  • Teng Kiir 
  • Sean McCaffery 
  • Delana Thomas 
  • Barrington Wallace 
  • Liam Welling 

The nine individuals listed above are training to become Syracuse University campus peace officers. One additional recruit, Jay Kreis, is joining this peace officer academy and will be heading to Onondaga Community College upon completion. 

“We are excited to welcome this group of recruits and work with them over the next several months,” said Sgt. Adam Wheeler, academy director. This is now the eighth time that the Department of Public Safety has held its own peace officer academy. 

During the academy, these recruits will be subject to technical, physical, classroom and field-based tests. Upon successful completion of the academy, graduates progress to field training with their respective field training officers for an additional 12 to 14 weeks. 

Craig Stone, associate vice president and chief of the Department of Public Safety, addressed the friends and families of the recruits. “We are excited to welcome new members to our team and all of them have prior customer service experience. They will assist us in keeping the campus community safe and increasing community engagement with our students as we strive to obtain advanced CALEA accreditation,” he said. 

The University’s Department of Public Safety provides round-the-clock protection to the Syracuse University campus. Through various patrol and crime prevention efforts, DPS partners with students, faculty, and staff to identify, recognize and eliminate crime hazards and risks within the campus community.