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Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile talks curbing crime

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile sat down with NewsChannel 9 to discuss police’s efforts to curb crime in Syracuse, especially involving stolen vehicles and illegal dirt bikes.

Cecile explained the department’s efforts to combat car thieves, specifically those who are targeting KIA’s and Hyundai’s, which includes working with dealerships to offer security upgrades and free steering wheel locks.

“We have teamed up with Matthews Hyundai. We have those steering wheel locks were giving out,” Cecile said. “We even have patrol officers now that are going door to door when they spot a Hyundai or one of those chosen models in the neighborhood, stopping by the house and giving out one of those steering wheel locks.”

Police also face a challenge with who is stealing the vehicles as many are teenagers and face very little consequences, Cecile said.

“Many of the children, the kids, the teens that stole them in the first wave are no longer the ones who are our target. It’s a whole other group,” Cecile said. “We have a lot of them identified. We’ve made arrests. But there’s very little consequence.”

Cecile also mentioned that the department is looking to change their pursuit policy given all the chases stolen cars have caused recently.

On top of trying to combat car thefts, Syracuse police are also looking to take illegal dirt bikes and ATVs off the street.

SPD has a specific detail operating to take illegal dirt bikes and ATVs away.

“With the new ordinance, it’s very expensive to get one of those back,” Cecile said. “I don’t believe anyone has tried to acquire their vehicle back, not one time. So we’re going to keep putting those details out, keep taking them off the street, the illegal ones.

There are also new plans for police to use drones to target illegal ATVs and dirt bikes.

Cecile said it would provide a less expensive and safer alternative rather than using the police helicopter.

“The newest thing we’ll probably move to this year instead of using Air One, which is very expensive, we’re probably going to use drones to follow the vehicles,” Cecile said. “Wait until they stop, wait until they’re gassing up, wait until they’re pulling into their yard, then we’ll swoop in and grab them.”

You can watch the full interview with Chief Cecile in the video player above.

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