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Syracuse police seeking help with how it handles cases of child abuse

A blue sign stands in front of a building.
WAER File Photo
The City of Syracuse Department of Police sign at 511 S State St.

The Syracuse Police Department is looking for help with how it handles child abuse cases.

The department is asking the Syracuse Common Council for funding to work with the Zero Abuse Project, a nonprofit that focuses on protecting children from abusive scenarios.

Richard Shoff, the department's first deputy chief, said the request comes after the state attorney general found officers need to do a better job working with young victims and identifying when others may need help.

“That improvement is interviewing children, whether it’s sexual abuse or just abuse in general, and recognizing maltreatment.” Shoff said.

Zero Abuse Project would work with select department staff, who will then train the rest of the agency’s officers. Shoff said up to 40 employees would initially receive the training. The approach would cost about $6,000, which is cheaper than the alternative.

”If we were gonna do the whole department it would have been closer to $35,000," Shoff said.

The Common Council is expected to vote on the agreement at its Monday meeting.