SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Syracuse is looking forward to 2021 after a year unlike any other.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh gave his State of the City on Thursday night. And this State of the City was also unlike any other in our lifetime.
The mayor gave his speech at Salt City Market, virtually.
Syracuse is facing a $40 million hole created by the COVID-19 pandemic. A transformational project is on the horizon with I-81. And last summer, protesters marched for more than 40 days in an effort to bring change to policing and officer accountability.
Walsh also addressed police reform in the city early in his address.
“It is only through listening that we can truly understand,” Walsh said. “And by seeing and feeling we strengthen the urgency to act.”
The push to have officers live in the city continues for Walsh even after a contract between the police union and the city was voted down by City Council. The contract is now going through an arbitration process and Walsh still hopes that article stays in the contract.
Walsh also had something shocking to say during his State of the City:
Syracuse Police officers were shot at more in 2020 than in any other year by a significant amount.
Walsh noted that police were able to take several guns off the streets and use of force cases were down. Violent crime in the city was down as well.
After his address, Walsh talked about his concerns with Destiny USA. The mayor said he is certainly worried about the future of the mall and spoke with the ownership group on Thursday.
He said that the city is ready to help out the mall if needed. On Wednesday, Best Buy announced that it was leaving the mall in March. It is the latest big box store to leave.
Lord and Taylor, Sports Authority, JCPenney, Sears have all left in the last few years.