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Syracuse police to focus on 'quality of life' details this summer

Syracuse Police Department Headquarters.
Syracuse Police Department Headquarters.

Syracuse Police have started what they call “quality of life” details where extra cops will focus on rampaging ATVs and dirt bikes, as well as illegal fireworks.

These are summertime problems; speeding ATVs ramming through neighborhoods and massive illegal fireworks displays. Mayor Ben Walsh has placed a high priority on these quality of life issues that usually end up on the bottom of the list of police calls, according to Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile.

"We always do a great job responding to priority one calls which include gun violence," Cecile said. "But what often takes a back seat, especially during the summer and especially on the weekends, are these quality of life calls. So we’re hoping extra resources will help us improve on response time to quality of life issues, and allow police investigators and detectives to do proactive work."

Up to 10 officers will be deployed in this special detail mostly on weekends this summer to respond to quality of life calls. Walsh said it does not take away from police presence in big issues of gun violence facing the city.

"It’s not an either-or proposition," Walsh said. "Obviously we want to address life safety issues relating to gun violence in our neighborhoods, in our schools but we also want to deal with quality of life issues. Even if we call them quality of life issues, they are safety issues as well."

Walsh says there have been fatalities from the illegal ATVs and dirt bikes, and fireworks have caused house fires.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.