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Citizen Review Board has new administrator
Syracuse's Citizen Review Board is now fully operational. A new administrator has been hired after the person who held that position was fired. Wednesday, the Common Council held a reception for the board's new leader. Our Iris St. Meran caught up with him to discuss his priorities for his new post.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's been more than a year since Syracuse's Citizen Review Board had an administrator. But now Joseph Lipari has the reigns.
Lipari said, "Some people could have been scared off by how the last board operated and what happened with it, but I was so impressed by the professionalism of the board and how seriously they took recreating this office."
The re-creation comes a year after Mayor Stephanie Miner fired then administrator Felicia Davis based on her performance. The board, which investigates complaints against the police department, didn't function for nearly a year.
Lipari, who comes to Syracuse from Chicago, has jumped in head first since starting a month ago with 11 new members. He also has a backlog of 12 cases and new ones coming in.
"Our immediate goal was just to get the office back up and running. We had to set up the office,” Lipari said. “We had to get all of our computers setup, get just the mechanics of having an office up and running."
Lipari knows he has his work cut out for him. One of his priorities is letting people know that the Citizens Review Board is operational and he's doing that by getting out in the community.
He said he's already visited a few neighborhoods with plans to participate in upcoming community events. The next step is working with the Police Union and officers not just on disciplinary matters but also commending them on their hard work. He says he'll be working to instill trust in his office.
"It's not going to happen overnight, but you have to demonstrate to the community that you're there and you're taking their complaints seriously and you're following up with them," Lipari added.
He hopes to see more community members engaged and going to the board's monthly meetings to help him get his priorities accomplished.
To learn more about the CRB or to contact that office, visit www.syracuse.ny.us/crb.aspx.