ABOUT THE PROJECT
Many people think of the police force as one unit, like a tribe with a single identity. But beyond the blue of the uniform, each police officer is unique. This project takes you inside the lives of the chief and several officers in Syracuse, N.Y., showing the force is truly a collection of individuals. Given the country’s major news events involving the police over the last few years, and because Syracuse is a city where the minority population has very nearly become the majority, we pay special attention to minority officers in this project. They account for just one in every 10 officers, though Syracuse is 45% minority. Our project is not intended to be either “positive” or “negative,” but rather an honest and powerful look at this complex issue—all with the hope it improves police and community relations in some way.
Yet while race matters, it is not everything. As the new chief in Ferguson, Missouri, told a reporter on our team, when citizens see police, they don't see individuals or race, "They see you as blue."
Officer Ahmad Mims
Ahmad Mims grew up in Syracuse and went on to play college basketball at Oswego. He’s a sixth-year cop who has his eye on more for his community, and himself – all possible if “we just came together.”
© MIchael Santiago
Officer Lashonda Russell
Rookie Officer Lashonda Russell wanted to be a cop after she saw the trouble her brother got caught up in. But now he's not talking to her. Her mom's excited for her; her dad is worried. She is unbowed.
© Bryan Cereijo
Officer Emily Quinones
A 7-year veteran, Officer Emily Quinones has charted a path from Puerto Rico, to a job at Pep Boys, to her status today as a familiar face in the Strathmore area and a vital link to the Spanish-speaking community.
© Bryan Cereijo