A Monday night meeting to discuss crime in Syracuse is drawing criticism. YNN's Bill Carey says there are questions over how far the city is willing to go to change the way it addresses crime and questions over just who Mayor Stephanie Miner called to the meeting.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In growing numbers, people in the City of Syracuse have been voicing concerns about the perception that local crimes, especially burglaries, are on the rise.
“I have never seen quite the height of concern in the neighborhoods about where we're going as a city as has been expressed to me in the last two or three weeks,” said Syracuse Common Councilor Patrick Hogan.
In fact, statistics do show an uptick in crime numbers. Mayor Stephanie Miner called for a meeting with some 120 community leaders and neighborhood representatives. But there are complaints that some people seemed to be left off the list.
“Why would you not invite some key community leaders like the chief law enforcement officer, the District Attorney of Onondaga County, who has to prosecute criminals? Why would you not invite the city resident who's the chair, who's chairman of the legislature, Ryan McMahon, who attends, regularly, the neighborhood watch meetings? It just seems to me that several key leaders have been left out,” said Onondaga County Republican Chairman Thomas Dadey.
The mayor is facing a re-election test in 2013 and Dadey claims that her concern, now, about crime issues, is a reaction to another perception. That the mayor may be facing unhappy members within her own party.
Dadey said, “I'd hate to think that politics is playing into this. But, you know, it makes one wonder if the mayor is trying to solidify her support.”
Patrick Hogan, who is considering a primary challenge to the mayor in the new year, says the city has long had a chance to meet the concerns of the neighborhoods with a simple change in tactics.
“They wish they would see more of a police presence in the neighborhoods, as a preventive measure. Police patrol presence,” Hogan said.
It's a step that Hogan says the city continues to resist.