Message From The Chief of Police
As I was named Chief of Police in July 2021, I was taking over an agency that was in a transition. We were transitioning from a predominately senior department to a newly hired younger department. With this change came some challenges, most importantly depending on officers with little experience to train those with no experience. The department saw ten retirements in the first half of the year in 2021, which resulted in a loss of 168 years of service and experience. This, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic that was still affecting our community and department. The challenges were real, but the members of the department stepped up and continue to be resilient towards anything that comes their way.
As a department we continue to move forward and serve the residents of the City of Auburn with compassion and respect. However, we still struggle with our recruiting efforts. The department is not fully staffed and the number of individuals signing up for exams continues to decline. Our moto is and will always be to hire the best qualified candidates for the position of police officer and we will not settle for less than that to fill the open positions. The residents of this community deserve the best officers we can hire and train to protect the community.
Communication and transparency with the community in which we serve is still at the forefront of our organization. More now than ever the public want to know the Who? What? Why? And Where? of our department. I feel that it is my job as the Chief of Police to communicate with the public and encourage our officers to do the same. The feedback we get from the community will allow us to better serve the members of the community and maintain the trust they have in their police officers.
In 2023 our goal is to become Accredited with State of New York. What does this mean? Agencies must meet a set of standards in three categories: Administration, Training and Operations. Accreditation provides formal recognition that an agency meets or exceeds expectations of quality; demonstrates that the agency performs in a professional manner, has formalized policies in place to govern its operational practices and procedures, and that its employees contribute to the agency's mission and know what is expected of them. With this in mind, it has been a daunting multiyear plan and implementation to move forward with this task. By years end, we hope to accomplish this milestone.
In closing, I want the public to know that members of the Auburn Police Department, who serve our community do so with professionalism, compassion, and respect each and every day. It is with honor that I am allowed to be the Police Chief of such a great organization. I would like to thank Mayor Quill, City Manager Dygert, and members of the City Council for always being supportive of the Auburn Police Department.
James T. Slayton, Chief of Police
To enhance the quality of life in the City of Auburn by working cooperatively with the citizenry to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, and provide for a safe environment.
The values of the Auburn Police Department begin with the common understanding that all citizens shall be treated with Human Dignity. Regardless of race, social class, gender, religion, background or beliefs, each individual we serve will be given Respect, Excellence of service, Compassion and understanding, while we promise to always maintain our Integrity through collaborative Teamwork and Accountability by means of a strategic partnership with the community members that we serve.
Respect: The Auburn Police Department views the law and the community as the source of its authority and will faithfully and without bias or prejudice honor this commitment.
Excellence: The Auburn Police Department strives for distinct and superior service between our membership and the partnership we share with the community we serve.
Compassion: The Auburn Police Department strives to show respect for and be sensitive to all citizens and their problems.
Integrity: The Auburn Police Department believes in honesty, consistency and transparency in every interaction with the public that we serve.
Teamwork: The Auburn Police Department believes that each citizen must become involved in efforts to solve their own problems. We must work as a team in order to accomplish mutual goals for our community.
Accountability: Members of the Auburn Police Department are held to the highest standards of accountability to ourselves, our fellow officers, our administration, and those that we serve.
GOALS FOR 2022-2023
1) Goal: Obtain and train on new Tasers
Objective: Our department is seeking to secure and put in service new Taser 7 units for all sworn officers. The current lease/contract on our Taser X26P is expiring and the X26P is slowly becoming obsolete. With the Taser 7, we are getting the newest and best available version with its upgrade functionality. The Taser 7 is capable of achieving the optimal 12” spread of the probes whether it is fired in close quarters or at a further distance. It is capable of firing two separate times without any reloading of cartridges and it delivers the probes at a higher kinetic energy, making it capable of working through thick clothing. This is advantageous for officer safety and also for the subjects it may be deployed on as it will actually work better on the subject, getting them into custody quicker and with less deployments, decreasing changes of injury. Training will consist of the same yearly in-service training to re-certify on the Tasers and officers will still need to take a written exam and demonstrate proper use to instructor.
2) Goal: Obtain and utilize body-worn cameras
Objective: Create a policy and procedure for the use and maintenance requirements of body-worn cameras, to be implemented mid-year 2022. The purpose of the cameras is to record interactions between police officers and the public to ensure officer and public safety as well as officer compliance with departmental policies and procedures. They will also demonstrate transparency within the community. The cameras will be purchased by utilizing a grant, as well as City of Auburn funds.
3) Goal: Create new position within department
Objective: Hire and train individual to assist with Identification Bureau responsibilities, as well as maintain body-worn camera record requirements. This includes compliance, retention and disposition of records. Incumbent will need to complete required DCJS courses for ID Bureau.
4) Goal: Put Community Oriented Police Officer back in service
Objective: In an effort to better engage with the community, this year’s focus will include an increase in community policing objectives. Some of these objectives will be to have officers walk downtown and in neighborhoods to communicate with members of the public and spend time engaging in conversations. Much of this will be made possible because of the number of officers available after getting staff towards capacity. These officers will be able to bring back to administration some of the issues or concerns felt by community members. This will in turn, allow us to focus on neighborhoods or businesses that need assistance.