Is the City of Syracuse facing a new rise in violent crime? It's a question being heard often after a series of events in recent days. YNN's Bill Carey says city leaders acknowledge a spike in violent crime, but say there is no new trend developing.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- An annual gathering of active duty and retired police officers. It is National Law Enforcement Day and they have come together to remember those killed in the line of duty. The gathering, for Syracuse Police, comes at the end of a brutal streak of violent crime citywide.
A knife attack at a busy intersection in broad daylight. Shootings and stabbings in the neighborhoods. A home invasion leading to a lengthy standoff. It all leaves people in Syracuse asking if violent crime is again on the rise.
“We're not seeing a new trend. Actually, the numbers show that our crime is going down. It's episodic when we've seen this happen. And, unfortunately, when the good weather comes, the weather breaks, you see it more regularly,” Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said.
And this type of violence which is, as the mayor described it, episodic, may be the most difficult for law enforcement to confront.
Syracuse's Police Chief says his department is normally left to "react" to any outbreak.
“Something happens well outside of our presence. Well outside of the reach of our technology today. And it sparks some type of reaction in the community that erupts into some type of violence. That's something you really can't anticipate. There's no technology out there that can capture or trap that information. I don't care how good the ‘beat cop’ is, they're not going to be able to capture or trap that information,” Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said.
On this day of remembrance, if there is any bright spot in the reports of recent violence, it's that there have been no deaths or serious injuries among officers or innocent bystanders.
Miner said, “This appears to be gang on gang and drug related violence and we have a great task force that's working on solving that and we're doing what we can. And we'll continue to do that.”
“This is something that comes out of nowhere. It's something that you can seldom plan for. But it is something we're prepared to react to,” Fowler said.
A job that carries challenges and risks.