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.

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!

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

Message from Tony Callisto, Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Earlier this evening, a local media outlet published a story about an incident involving a now former Syracuse University student.

Several law enforcement agencies identified that student as posing a potential threat to public safety. When the University learned about the situation, the student was already out of the country. The student never returned to Syracuse, New York and the Syracuse University community was never in danger.

As a result of the quick action and tremendous collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the potential threat was swiftly eradicated.

Because of the nature of the case, Syracuse University honored the request of law enforcement to maintain confidentiality while the investigation was underway to prevent jeopardizing the outcome.

Per our University policy, and because this was a student conduct matter, we will not be providing further details.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of our campus community is and will always be Syracuse University’s chief priority. Any behaviors that violate our community standards, values or Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and will be met with appropriate disciplinary action.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Tony Callisto
Senior Vice President and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

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

To see the full article, visit

Public Safety Update: Stabbing

On Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 3:21 a.m., the Department of Public Safety, along with the Syracuse Police Department, responded to a report of a stabbing incident at 710 Euclid Ave. One victim, a non-university affiliate, was injured.

There is no suspect information available at this time.

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.