A new era began for the Syracuse Police Department on Monday, as new Police Chief Kenton Buckner was sworn in.
Buckner comes from Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served as chief for four years. Before that, he spent 21 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department.
After being formally being introduced to the community last month, Buckner said his highest priority is tackling violent crime, of which the city has seen a recent surge. Other top issues included police and community relations, as well as the epidemic of youth violence.
"He's done great work everywhere he's gone, but ultimately for me as mayor, I need to have a strong relationship and trust with my chief of police," said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. "That's something that you can't just create. It has to be there.
"From the first time I sat down with Chief Buckner, I felt that trust. I felt that sincerity."
Buckner replaces Chief Frank Fowler, who retired Friday after nine years in the position and 29 years with the department.
Monday's ceremony was emotional for Buckner, as he held back tears when addressing the crowd. He said he's thankful to be able to serve the city of Syracuse.
"Syracuse fits the model that I prefer. I like mid-sized cities. I like urban communities," Buckner said. "The challenges that we have in our city are some that I'm very familiar with."
Buckner asks the public for just one favor.
"When we're right, I ask that you support us," he said. "When we're wrong, I ask that you hold us accountable. I ask that you do both with the same amount of energy, and I plan to do the same thing for our officers."
Buckner said his first week in the position consists of a lot of meetings. He wants to continue to get familiar with the city and issues affecting both police and the public.