Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:
In June, I shared with our community that I asked former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct a review of Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). Ms. Lynch, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama, is respected for her expertise in police-community relations. I write to you today with an update on her work.
By the second week of September, Ms. Lynch and her team will provide preliminary recommendations to form a Public Safety Citizen Review Board that will hear, review and recommend actions regarding complaints made by University community members. That will be followed by a series of listening sessions between Ms. Lynch’s team and members of our community comprising students, faculty and staff, including DPS personnel. Listening sessions will be held virtually and, if health protocols allow, on campus. With those recommendations and input, we will establish the Review Board, whose members will be drawn from the University community. The listening sessions will also in part inform Ms. Lynch’s final independent review and recommendations.
In the coming weeks, you will receive more information from Ms. Lynch’s team about how to participate in these listening sessions. Creating a model where DPS’ focus is on public safety is our goal. Building trust between our community and DPS is an important part of our work in being a more just, equitable and welcoming community for all.