Syracuse mayor says city police to patrol Destiny USA parking lots to improve security

Syracuse, NY – Off-duty Syracuse police officers will soon begin patrolling outside Destiny USA in the wake of the recent incidents involving violence at the mall.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said today the officers patrolling Destiny’s parking lots will be paid by the mall.

He also said Destiny is hiring more off-duty Onondaga County probation officers to beef up security at the mall where there’s been a spate of crime incidents lately, including a gunshot fired during a fight March 5 that shattered a store window.

A few days earlier, Juli Boeheim, the co-founder of the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, was robbed of her purse at gunpoint. She is the wife of Jim Boeheim, who is the coach of the Syracuse University men’s basketball team.

“I think ownership (of Destiny USA) is taking the necessary steps in partnership with us to address it,” Walsh said of the spate of violence during a monthly briefing with reporters today.

Walsh also announced:

*The city will provide $1.2 million in federal pandemic relief to help local nonprofit arts organizations and professional artists who have been hurt economically by the pandemic.

The fund will be managed by CNY Arts. Arts and cultural organizations can apply to CNY Arts for funding.

The city will also provide $411,000 in pandemic relief to the Syracuse Empowerment Financial Center to provide free financial counseling to city residents. Another $350,000 in financial relief will go to On Point for College to help low-income city students pursue college educations.

*Syracuse’s bond rating has been upgraded to A+, up from A, by one of the major bond rating agencies.

Fitch Ratings said it “…expects the city to maintain an adequate level of financial flexibility while utilizing various budgetary tools to minimize periodic operating deficits and reserve fund drawdowns.”

Walsh said the rating improvement will save city taxpayers millions of thousands of dollars in future financing costs.

*Free at-home Covid-19 test kits are available to city residents at Syracuse park community centers as well as the Southwest Community Center, Syracuse Northeast Community Center, Westcott Community Center, Dunbar Center, Huntington Family Center, Northside Learning Center and the Spanish Action League.

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