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Project October 4, 2021

SPD: The Making of a Modern Police Force


Along with most mid-sized cities in the United States, Syracuse, New York, is grappling with change to its police department. Change is often driven by events and economics; and shaped by power, protests, and policy.

But whether it occurs is ultimately determined by people. This six-part series explores the history and challenges of the Syracuse Police Department as a new police chief attempts to reform SPD.

This series follows a class through the police academy, looking at the department's reputation as an occupying force, and exploring the relationship between cops in schools and in neighborhoods. This project focuses on a key topic in each episode — a balanced, substantive narrative intended to show how the evolution of the police department reflects the growth of the city.