Dozens of people packed the Syracuse Police Department Monday morning to have a look at a hallway that honors police officers who have given their lives protecting and serving Syracuse. The Hall of Honor was the idea of a recently-retired Sgt. John Savage. He said he hopes that young recruits and old retirees can take some time to walk through the history and tradition of the department.
“Throughout history, we have learned that there are some jobs that just can’t be done without suffering casualties,” Savage said. “You can’t send cops out into the streets in an increasingly violent society 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year without experiencing violence on law enforcement officer deaths.”
Tony Sobon retired in 2000 after spending 28 years serving the city. He said by looking at officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, he hopes the younger generation today can become more aware of what the police are doing for the community.
“Hopefully it would help reduce. You know, just makes people more aware,” Sobon said. “Time’s changed. A lot of these kids or folks out there today, young people aren’t aware of what the police really do. If they take some time to see what goes on in police officer’s lives.”
Jim Burns is a retired Syracuse police lieutenant. He said he rarely pulled his gun during his 17 years on the streets. Burns said the ongoing and sometimes violent interaction between police and the community makes being a police officer a difficult job.
“It’s different. It’s a different life now. It’s not the same. Things are crazy now. You are going to watch yourselves at all times. Remember everybody is filming everything. Everybody got a camera today. And they turn them on when they feel like. They never get the beginning of the whole thing. So it’s a tough life.”
Monday is also Police Retirees Day in Syracuse for former officers to celebrate their service to the city and meet with colleagues they worked with for years.