Feb 06, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
A few weeks ago, Common Councilors Bea Gonzalez and Pat Hogan weighed in on the cause and solution to the recent wave of violence to hit the city of Syracuse.
The seemingly weekly homicides have slowed, at least for now, but the question of “what to do?” hangs above residents heads.
Will the gun amnesty cure our ills — or is it a publicity front for politicians and the police, who don’t know the real solution?
This week Common Councilor-At-Large Bill Ryan, who chairs the public safety committee and announced last month his run for council president this year against Van Robinson, responded to where the problem lies and how we can fix it, together.
Bill Ryan, Common Councilor-At-Large, majority leader
Ryan recently announced he will run for Common Council President.
What was your personal reaction to the increased violence of 2008 and continued into 2009?
I am saddened, discouraged and outraged by the violence that has beset our fair city. Saddened that innocent lives were lost and families on both sides are left to cope. Discouraged that indifference to human life, in combination with a of lack of education, gang violence, poverty and other social morass, has led to this.
Does this situation warrant a different method of policing?
Current methods of policing are effective for today as we are trying to suppress and stronger more police presence is necessary. Gun buy backs may get a few weapons off the street and is worth certainly if just one life is spared. I have long been an advocate of more patrol officers and less specialty squads as Chief Miguel will attest. Walking beats are great, but are certainly not as effective in dealing with crime over a large area but are good for a small well-defined area for obvious reasons.
What has caused such a boom in the violence? Do you see similarities (socially, economically, politically) to the city in 2002 when we experienced a similar increase?
I was dismayed with the lack of cooperation with the police department before and after the incident on Kellogg Street where four people were shot, adults were partying and drinking with 14-year-olds in the middle of the night. Where is the outrage? Police officer shot in Rochester by a child.
What responsibility do individuals have in ending the violence and keeping their neighborhoods safe?
A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting with approximately 15 City pastors and Syracuse Police Brass. I feel that is a good beginning to a new strategy to build bridges between the police and the community they serve.
Each one of us elected officials, citizens, Police officers, community and neighborhood groups, and the religious community all need to come together to change the direction and the tone now being set on our City Streets.