Crime statistics for the City of Syracuse in 2012 are in. The numbers are mixed. There are areas where crimes have dropped. Then there are other areas, including burglaries and robberies, where police plan to focus more of their attention. Our Iris St. Meran takes a closer look at the numbers.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When it comes to reducing crime in Syracuse, there's a lot to celebrate, but at the same time, police know where they need to spend more time.
They call them crimes of focus.
Last year, gun related crimes were in focus and Chief Frank Fowler says incidents of shots with injuries and shots fired dropped eight percent and 10 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Fowler said, "It's attributed to police tactics and making the adjustments."
The same will be applied to the spike in burglaries and robberies this past year.
Burglaries are up 14 percent and robberies are up 16 percent. Fowler said new technology has a lot to do with the year to year change.
"Cell phones, the very expensive iPhones, the tablets and the various types of computers are smaller and more expensive and that's what we're discovering the bulk of our robberies are for," Fowler said.
Violent crimes, like homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults, were also up, but so were the number of arrests, including those for felonies and misdemeanors. Although the police force has seven percent less staffing than in 2009, the chief says he still has more officers on the street. Challenging economic times in the city could potentially change that.
"The mayor's made it crystal clear all along that the city's facing some very tough challenges. How that's going to affect my police department, what it's going to mean to me, will I have to make some adjustments? I don't know,” Fowler added. “I would imagine that I would."
And if that's the case, he says the people who live and work in the city can still expect the same kind of quality service.
With the recent announcement of Syracuse's fire chief and deputy fire chief retiring, Chief Fowler was asked about his future plans. He says he enjoys this job and plans to stay around as long as possible.