Today, Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner announced he would not continue to pursue New York State police officer certification. Under local and state law, the Chief is not required to be a sworn officer. Chief Buckner is able to continue as Chief in a civilian capacity (New York State Attorney General Formal Opinion No. 85-F12).
Chief Buckner shared the following message with the Syracuse Police Department today:
“During the past two years and with the assistance of many colleagues in the department, I have completed all of the 350 hours of classroom training for my state certification, as well as the proficiency tests for defense tactics, firearms, and emergency vehicle operations. While I have improved my fitness and can complete the majority of the physical requirements, I am unable to finish the 1.5 mile run in the required time. With the next deadline approaching early December, I have decided at this time not to continue to pursue state certification. This decision does not impact my ability to serve as Chief. Out of respect for the certification process and all those who have completed it, I will not wear a police uniform while serving as your Chief.
Throughout this process, I have met many talented instructors that work for the Syracuse Police Department, and I’ve been impressed by the quality of instruction. I want to offer special thanks to the Training Academy staff for their guidance and assistance during my training. I also greatly appreciate the countless number of people who have offered encouragement and prayers.
My commitment to this department and to being your Chief has never been stronger. Thank you for the work you all do every day for our department and our City.”