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Syracuse Common Councilors say they're concerned for their safety at work

The Syracuse Common Council is not voting yet on a proposal to overhaul trash pickup in the city
Jessica Cain
WRVO News (file photo)
The Syracuse Common Council during a meeting in March. Lawmakers this week discussed their own safety during a budget hearing.

Syracuse Common Councilors expressed concern for city hall safety measures during a routine budget hearing this week with the Citizen Review Board.

The discussion began after CRB Administrator Ranette Releford requested additional funding for security personnel. Councilor Pat Hogan said that the lack of security in place is less than desirable.

“It’s pathetic, the security here,” Hogan said.

Releford brought up the security concerns after a number of threats had been made to her and other CRB staff members in CRB offices, making it difficult to feel safe at work.

Common Council President Helen Hudson said that is not something anyone should feel.

“Nobody should be put in danger doing their job,” Hudson said.

Releford is seeking to contract out security teams, citing a conflict of interest with having CRB guarded by the Syracuse Police Department.

“This is the same entity that they’ve already expressed concerns about,” Releford said. “That we are utilizing them again, it could create even more agita. As it relates to me, it presents a conflict.”

Councilor Jimmy Monto said that while CRB has unique issues, concern should also be directed across city government offices.

“We’re in a time where there is a lot of gun violence, so it’s not just the CRB, it’s the whole building,” Monto said.

Councilors shared differing opinions on what security options should look like, but expressed similar views that some action should be taken across city government facilities. Councilor Chol Majok said it is disheartening to see city employees and elected officials feel endangered and receive threats.

“It is unfortunate, here we are trying to do our best to serve the community,” Majok said. “But at the same time, you have to, here is what you are met with.”

City budget discussions will continue through April.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.