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Stephanie Miner announces homicide task force, commits to keeping Syracuse a sanctuary city

Courtesy of Logan Reidsma

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner gives her final State of the City on Thursday evening.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Thursday announced the establishing of a task force in the city’s police department to investigate murders.

In her eighth State of the City address, held at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, Miner also announced the installation of a gunshot detection service in the city and said Syracuse will continue to serve as a “sanctuary city” for immigrants.

The Syracuse Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division recently established a Homicide Task Force, a unit that Miner said will “ensure that we have the most effective efforts to solve these terrible crimes.”

“We know we must renew our efforts to reduce murders in Syracuse,” Miner added.

Syracuse police on Thursday made three arrests in connection to a double homicide, arrests Miner said were the first made under the new task force.

In another effort to fight crime, the city will also be installing ShotSpotter — gunshot detection sensors — in an area spanning three square miles. ShotSpotter uses its sensors to detect gunshots and notify law enforcement. Miner said other cities that have installed ShotSpotter have seen a decrease in gunfire incidents.

Miner also emphasized her support for immigrants living in Syracuse, calling it a city of immigrants. In what seemed to be a reference to President-elect Donald Trump and his calls for deportation, Miner said immigrants in the United States are currently filled “with uncertainty and trepidation.”

Miner, though, said the resources of the city’s police department will not be used to enforce federal anti-immigration policies.

“As long as I am mayor, Syracuse will be a sanctuary city for vulnerable families who had the misfortune of being born in a war-torn corner of our world,” she said. “Syracuse has been, and always will be, a place that bids you welcome.”

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