North Syracuse Village of North Syracuse mayor Mark Atkinson swore in new police chief Michael Crowell at the Aug. 9 village board meeting. Crowell was chosen for his experience with community policing, something the village wants to focus more on in the future.
The emphasis on community policing comes not only from the village board but from the expectations of the public, Atkinson said. Interim Chief William Peverly and a board of law enforcement experts made the recommendation of Crowell to the mayor after going through the civil service process and interviewing three likely candidates.
“Chief Peverly tried to get as much information from the community, as to what was important to them, what qualities in a police chief they would like to see,” Atkinson said. “So he got that feedback which helped him through his selection process. Most all of the feedback we heard was they wanted someone that was interested in community policing. That is getting involved in the community, being visible, being approachable.”
Crowell is a 46-year-old resident of Syracuse with a background in small town police departments. He retired as a sergeant for the town of Manlius police department after 12 years and also has worked as an officer for the village of East Syracuse.
The new chief also has experience in accrediting other departments around the state and has been an instructor at the academy, Atkinson said.
“He has a great technical background and is a very approachable person,” Atkinson said. “He's going to be perfect for community policing.”
Although keeping a personal relationship with the residents is vital to his new position, Crowell said that community policing can also be more complex.
“I was very fortunate early in my career to be introduced to the whole concept of community policing,” Crowell said. “To me the concept of community policing is not only getting close to the community but more importantly helping the law enforcement identify whatever problems may be in that particular community and then utilizing whatever law enforcement resources are available to try and help the community solve those problems.