SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Not even one week into his new role as head of the Syracuse Police Department, Chief Joe Cecile received a fast invitation to meet with city lawmakers on Monday afternoon.
The Syracuse Common Council’s Public Safety Committee’s agenda was full, including two high profile cases for the Syracuse Police Department.
Chief Cecile first addressed the committee by discussing the viral video of the 8-year-old Syracuse boy being put in the back of a police cruiser after he stole a bag of chips.
There were some low points, as I said with that interaction, but most of the points were high points. The officers knew the kid. They knew his parents. They knew where he lived. Didn’t even have to ask where he lived to take him home, drove him right home, engaged with the father they knew as well in the street about solutions.Chief Joe Cecile, Syracuse Police Department
As NewsChannel 9 reported, the 8-year-old boy was ticketed for stealing another kid’s bike the day after Syracuse Police released body camera footage of officers taking the boy home to his father.
Chief Cecile said after the boy was given his appearance ticket, Syracuse Police contacted Onondaga County Social Services.
Throughout the nearly 2-hour dialogue, the Public Safety Committee was not only focused on coming to solutions in the incident with the 8-year-old, but with all troubled youth in Syracuse.
“We have to address the trauma. We have to look at it,” Hudson explained. “I’m sure you guys are traumatized because everyone in the city of Syracuse is dealing with the same types of actions, reactions, and trauma. We got to start looking a little deeper into what we’re dealing with because there is trauma in these homes, in these streets, and even in these schools. Everybody here knows it, let’s talk about the trauma and how we can work to kind of fix that.”
The other topic of discussion the Public Safety Committee meeting was the Armory Square shooting that left a 24-year-old dead and 4 other young men injured.
There was no new information Syracuse Police could publicly disclose about the investigation, but Chief Cecile said it’s far from over. Homicide detectives are in constant communication with the the victim’s family.
In an effort to get more illegal guns off the streets, the city of Syracuse is hosting another gun buyback in partnership with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. Time and location are to be determined.
To help with the department’s staffing shortage, SPD is now offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus to lateral transfer police officers from other agenices.
This bonus will be given in two $5,000 increments. One will be paid at the completion of field training and the second will be given after completing the probationary period.
SPD is also offering a $500 referral bonus to any current employee who refers a later transfer.