Following an eight-month search process, the city of Syracuse and Mayor Ben Walsh have announced a new chief of police.
Kenton Buckner will take over for longtime police chief, Frank Fowler.
Buckner has been the chief of police in Little Rock since June 2014.
Prior to Little Rock, he spent 21 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department in Louisville, Kentucky.
His career experience includes leadership in patrol operations, investigations, special operations, and administration.
“When we began looking for our next police chief, our goal was to find the very best candidate available. In hiring Chief Buckner, we have achieved that objective. Chief Buckner brings effective crime reduction strategies and a track record for increasing the diversity of his force. He understands the importance of having strong partnerships with law enforcement and the community to make our neighborhoods safer. Syracuse has an outstanding police department. I believe Chief Buckner will make it even better,” Walsh said in a statement.
In a letter to the Little Rock community, Buckner said the following:
“Community, Little Rock– today I accepted the Chief of Police position for the Syracuse Police Department in New York. The lessons learned over the past 4.5 years have prepared me for the challenges that lie ahead. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in Little Rock. More importantly, I have been blessed to meet some incredible people along my professional journey. It is a relationship that I will cherish the most.
I will continue to pray for this great city. Together, we have made some significant progress.
As of October 29, 2018, the department had a 10% decease in overall crime, 9% decrease in property crime, a 14% decrease in violent crime, and a 14% reduction in aggravated assaults. This includes a 38% reduction in homicides.
Please continue to support your police department as it begins the next chapter in the city’s rich history.
The city announced from the start that they were looking to hire externally.
There will be a Meet the Chief event on Saturday at 11 a.m. at City Hall.
See him discuss his time at Little Rock and his plans for Syracuse below: