Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler will continue to lead the department during the first year of the new mayoral administration. Fowler was sworn in by Mayor Ben Walsh Monday. The city will bring on the new police chief by the end of the year, according to the Mayor’s office.
Fowler was vague about what might be different in his job under the new administration. He also declined to comment on his past performance in the Syracuse Police Department, or talk about goals for the future.
“I’m not the guy who will look over his shoulder while in full stride. At the end of the year look me up, I’ll be happy to have a conversation about challenges and accomplishments but for right now, I’m still running the race.”
Syracuse Common Councilor and former police Chief Steve Thompson says he’s advised the mayor on the new appointment, saying rapport between the mayor and chief of police is vital.
“You have to be very comfortable with whoever you choose as chief of police and he felt comfortable with people at the top that are there now. He felt it was responsible to look at larger group and at the same time keep the fixtures that are here."
Walsh says he is grateful that Fowler will be stepping in during this transition period. The department has three new deputy chiefs that will assist in his administration’s goals.
“We’re going to be looking at the department’s relationship with the community which is something I that I talked a lot about on the campaign, make sure we’re engaging effectively in the community to be in a position not only to prevent crime but to solve crimes when they’re committed.”
Walsh says they plan to add about 25 new officers to the force this year. He said his administration plans to focus on resources and developing strong relationships with the community.