DPS continues regular patrol of Syracuse University area during summer months

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DPS receives fewer calls for service in the summer but does not drastically reduce staffing or hours.

As students stream out of the Syracuse area for the summer, the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety maintains a watchful eye both on and off campus as they conduct emergency drills and train new officers.

Although DPS staffers have greater leeway to use vacation hours during the summer months, the department does not radically reduce its staffing or hours.

“We understand we still have pockets of students, whether in the east or north areas or on campus,” said DPS Associate Chief John Sardino. “We want to keep our visibility out there and let the students know we’re still patrolling.”

The department employs four people who work only during the academic year, but most work regular hours. DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado said that accounts for the only difference in staffing between the summer and the academic year.

DPS receives fewer calls for service when the student population decreases but continues Orange Watch patrols throughout the summer. Per the department’s website, the Orange Watch program puts “three additional peace officers” on patrol to supplement regular staffing, which matches regular weekday staffing during the academic year.

“We still have a fair amount of activity with summer school classes. Right about now, we’re starting up athletic camps, which get pretty busy here on campus,” Maldonado said.

He estimated 10 percent of students remain in the university area during the summer.

DPS spends their extra time planning and completing training requirements stipulated by New York state.

Maldonado said DPS also held a conference with the Federal Emergency Management Agency alongside other central New York university and college police departments. Outside of the conference, the departments had the chance to “compare notes,” Maldonado added.

Each summer, DPS conducts a drill in conjunction with local emergency services to increase their cooperation.

Sardino said the department met last month to discuss and begin planning their July drill.

“We’ve done drills everywhere from shots fired to chemical spills to mass-casualty type events,” Sardino said. Mass-casualty events can include bus and vehicle accidents, he added.

The department begins to prepare for the upcoming school year in late July, starting with meetings and culminating in their annual drill. The meetings typically discuss recent trends in law enforcement and elsewhere.

Late July also marks the beginning of DPS officer training. Six new officers will begin their field training with the department then, Sardino said.


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