SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– If your house is broken into, or someone hit your car and took off and you call the police for help, you want your call to be answered right away. But with officers stretched so thin across the nation and right here in Central New York, there’s concern it’s going to take longer to respond.
“What do we tell the victims who lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision that we’re treating as a homicide? What do we tell those people now? We won’t have any answers,” Syracuse Police Benevolent Association President, Officer Joe Moran said.
To improve response times, the Syracuse Police Department has temporarily reassigned officers working on the K-9 Unit, the Traffic Division, and the Gun Violence Suppression Detail to the Patrol Unit to help out with the day-to-day calls for service.
Moran says this decision not only hurts the community but his fellow brothers and sisters in blue.
“I’m concerned being out there for my safety, the safety of my colleagues, and the safety of the community,” Moran said.
The Syracuse Police Department declined a request for an interview but released this statement to NewsChannel 9 saying:
“The Syracuse Police Department has been faced with historically low staffing numbers which has left a critically low number of officers working the patrol shifts. Some sections of the uniform bureau had to be temporarily reorganized to increase the amount of patrol officers on the street available to improve officer safety, respond to calls for service, and reduce wait times. In addition, the duties formerly held by these units will be picked up on an overtime or on-call basis. SPD currently has an academy in session with graduation planned for mid-December. The department also plans to hire another academy class in January 2022. The issues facing Syracuse and the SPD are not unique to our community. This is an issue facing our nation. We will continue to make the appropriate adjustments as necessary.”Sgt. Matthew Malinowski/Syracuse Police
Moran says hiring more people in December and January doesn’t do anything for the officers now as more continue to resign and retire, making the staffing shortage even worse.
“We are years, years behind the eight ball with all of these retirements and resignations, this is not going to be fixed overnight,” he said.
Moran said he has requested a meeting with the Chiefs and the PBA Executive Board for the week of September 13 to address these concerns.