Syracuse Announces Kenton Buckner As The City's New Police Chief

Nov 2, 2018

Kenton Buckner most recently was the chief of police in Little Rock, Arkansas. He will replace Chief Frank Fowler.
Credit Erron Franklin / WAER News

It's been a week of new appoitments in local government. A surprise announcement came today from the city that the search for a new police chief of Syracuse is complete. Mayor Ben Walsh selected Kenton Buckner, who most recently led the Little Rock, Arkansas Police force.

Buckner says people want to be treated with dignity, respect and professionalism from the top down. 

"I want to listen and learn," said Buckner. "I found that I do a lot better as far as getting information when my mouth is closed and my ears are open. So I want to hear from the community some of the challenges we're having here. Because I don't plan to take any Little Rock models that will necessarily successful for me there and just parachute that into our city. I want to do things based off of some of those successful principles but build a Syracuse model for that."

He says that he's implemented inintiatives in Arkansas to address crime and youth violvence that worked. Buckner also is requesting that parents and the greater Syracuse community be engaged in order to address problems. 

"We're willing to sit down and discuss you're problems as long as you stay at the table with us, and do your part to try to help us," said Buckner. "We can't do this by ourselves. As much as you've read about me on my resume, good and bad, I can tell you that if the community expects the police department to do this alone, you will be severely disappointed."

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said the search for the chief came in under what was budgeted.
Credit Erron Franklin / WAER News

The city hired a national firm to carry out the search to replace retiring Chief Frank Fowler. Mayor Ben Walsh estimates that the total amount actually used for the seach is less than $50,000.

"He has a strategy to improve safety," said Walsh. "He has a strong commitment ot diversity. He has success at both building and maintaining partnerships with law enforcement and the community."

The community can 'Meet the Chief' on November 3rd at 11 a.m. in City Hall Commons.