To fix department’s ‘crisis’, Auburn police chief is thinking outside the box, advertising outside the city

Local News

AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler is thinking outside the box, and outside his city, to recruit new police officers.

It’s normal to advertise openings on billboards, but what’s not normal is to put them up in another city.

Chief Butler purchased ten billboards in the Syracuse area, inviting police officers in Onondaga County to apply for six immediate openings.

They’re located in every section of the city from downtown, just blocks from Syracuse Police and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Headquarters, to the valley, to the west side.

The placement allows them to seen by officers on patrol.

Auburn Police has exhausted the candidates on the civil service list and got permission from the Civil Service Commission to hire “lateral transfers,” already-trained officers from other departments.

Chief Butler is aware he’s going after Syracuse cops when their department is in turmoil, often at odds with the new leadership. Butler says he’s aware of that but needs to prioritize the urgent needs of his department.

“It was something I wasn’t the most comfortable about, but I also knew that I have a serious situation and have to find a solution.”

-Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler

Butler says he wrote an email to Onondaga County’s chiefs to make them aware. The only response he got were messages wishing him luck.

The billboards direct candidates interested in applying to the Auburn Police Department to the city’s website.


For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan 

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