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Syracuse Police Making Adjustments To Keep Students Safe At Henninger High School

A man in a police officer's uniform stands unmasked in front of a microphone, talking. Behind him are several seated people writing things down
Scott Willis
Deputy Chief Richard Trudell addresses the Syracuse Common Council Public Safety Committee, Sept. 22, 2021.

 The Syracuse police department has taken steps to ensure student safety at Henninger High School after multiple fights and early dismissals occurred there the beginning of this school year. Syracuse Police Deputy Chief Richard Trudell said the department added an additional officer at Henninger to support school sentries.  

“And at no point, this week, or last, or in the future, will we let Henniger go below two officers,” Trudell said during a Common Council Public Safety Committee meeting this week.  

The police department usually only places one officer per school in the district, but a second officer has been assigned to Henninger as the department adjusts to the situation there.

Trudell said placing just one officer at the other high schools in the district is sufficient. The officers coordinate with school security staff to keep students safe but with minimal use of police force. That way, Trudell said, officers can support student safety at schools without unnecessary interference .

“We will not engage in fights or disturbances until we are asked to by the school district. Now obviously if it’s a dangerous situation then our officers are going to jump in,” he said.  

Henninger sent students home early several times last week after the fire alarms were set off. The school was also closed to students on Sept. 16, the day after five fights broke out at the school, some of which required police intervention.

Syracuse City Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea said in a news release that the closure was related to construction that wasn’t finished over the summer, including adjustments to fire alarm covers.

Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner also said at the committee meeting that the department has communicated with Alicea to ensure smooth adjustments from the police agency.