By Hailey René SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — In the month of October, several attacks, robberies, and burglaries have been reported by the Syracuse Department of Public Safety. Most of these incidents have taken place in the off-campus university neighborhood, like the burglary on Comstock Avenue just this past weekend.
DPS Officer in Charge Robert Boris explained how when it comes to off-campus areas, jurisdiction gets a little bit blurry. In the university neighborhood, DPS works closely with the Syracuse Police Department to keep students safe.
“If a student is involved, we can still respond, but we may not be the primary. The primary agency would be the Syracuse Police Department. We would assist them with whatever they needed.”
Boris explained that recent incidents involving minors who are not students at the university have been a bit trickier to handle. When the New York State Law changed two years ago, it made law enforcement unable to arrest minors for misdemeanors that were not serious crimes or felonies.
On top of working with the police department, Boris emphasized the importance of students trusting and seeking help when they need it.
“Students need to know that we’re there for them. So if you’re calling us, you’re not bothering us. That’s what we’re here for. Even if you may have had a bad experience sometime in your life with anybody, whether it was police, or another student, or whatever, we’re still here for you.”
DPS has upped its security presence on off campus areas following the crimes, and have sent regular safety update emails in order to inform the community when they are believed to be at risk.
In terms of being proactive, Boris encouraged students and faculty to utilize DPS services in order to stay safe. This includes their shuttle services, walking escorts, and emergency hotlines all listed on their website here.