Wednesday 30 November 2022
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Syracuse Officials To Begin Nationwide Search For Next Police Chief

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler

Big changes are coming for the Syracuse police department, as officials are preparing to start their search for a new police chief through a citywide listening tour, according to

Next month, the city is also hiring a search company that specializes in hiring law enforcement officials. When all is said and done, officials hope to name the new chief in November and have them on the job the following month.

For Mayor Ben Walsh, finding a new police chief is one of his main first-year goals. Toward the end of last year, Walsh said he would retain police Chief Frank Fowler in addition to First Deputy Chief Joseph Cecile up until the end of this year — a decision that was made toward the beginning of an election season prioritizing crime reduction and improved safety.

There are approximately 737,263 working police officers in the United States, and Walsh has committed to hiring a total of 25 new police officers this year. He also offered promotions to three deputy chiefs in the department. However, he did decide to retain the top positions.

“I have a lot of respect for Chief Fowler,” said Walsh back in December. “I think he’s a good man; he’s served our community well.”

Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens is responsible for identifying and hiring the next police chief for the department. Owens stated that she, as well as other staff members, will host a number of community forums throughout the next several weeks in order to receive resident feedback.

“We’re not trying to draw out personal qualities, but [rather] the experience and philosophy of a candidate,” said Owens. “We’re drawing from the public to set our baseline criteria for a new chief.”

Above all, Owens said that there’s just one “ironclad” quality the next chief must possess: the individual must have experience involving urban policing in addition to managing a police force from a diverse setting.

The city will spend up to $50,000 on the search firm in charge of initiating the nationwide hunt. These funds will be accounted for in next year’s budget, which is currently being crafted by administration officials. The search firm will use the summer to look for qualified candidates. All finalists will return to Syracuse during September or October to tour the city and meet with officials.

“The sky’s open,” said Owens. “At the end of it, whoever that individual is, we want to be able to say we cast a wide net.”

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