A potential failure at SPD

I’m angrier than a Spectrum Wireless customer whose phone won’t connect (again!) to their cell phone network (that’s why I left!) over this next story, one that I discussed on Thursday.  A Syracuse, New York Police Department police officer is on paid administrative leave after being served with an order of protection for allegedly physically abusing his own child, reportedly shoving her face into soiled bed sheets.

I reached out to SPD for a comment on behalf of the department, and I did receive a response from Capt. Matthew Malinowski, who sent the same statement that conventional media outlets got, something that I appreciate.  Not everyone pays bloggers much heed.

Because of the nature of the allegations and the intent of this article, I am choosing to publish the entire statement and then I’ll discuss it.

The Syracuse Police Department became aware of a domestic order of protection that was served on April 11th, 2024 against Jacob Ternosky, in favor of his child.  An internal investigation was initiated and Syracuse Police Officer Jacob Ternosky was placed on paid administrative leave.


“The allegations contained in the family court petition occurred in Onondaga County, outside of the City of Syracuse. These allegations contained potential violations of the law. This information was turned over to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.  The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office investigated the matter and made an arrest for the New York State Penal Law charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  

Officer Ternosky remains on paid administrative leaving pending the results of his case. The officer may also face potential internal discipline as a result of the internal investigation.  

Both the criminal case and the internal investigation are still open.  I am not able to release specific details of either case at this time.  To answer your one question, the Officers gun was seized as a part of this process.”

This whole story is disturbing to me for a number of reasons.  Of course it upsets me that it’s entirely possible that any person would do that to a child, especially their own flesh and blood.  If this officer did it, then he deserves a sentence that is not the result of a plea agreement.

But there’s more that disturbs me.  And it should enrage you, my reader.

Not that it matters, but the alleged crime occurred in Onondaga County, but outside the jurisdiction of the SPD.  Whatever happened occurred in Clay, a suburb of Syracuse, a suburb that I used to live in way back when.

The statement says that, after the potential criminal matter was filed by the county sheriff’s department, the department became aware of the situation.  Following the OCSO investigation, Ternosky was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Okay, but when did the SPD become aware of the serious charge?  When were they aware that an OOP was filed and served?  In New York state, and probably every other state in the union, if you are the subject of an OOP, you are not allowed to possess a weapon.  That’s just plain old American common sense.

Malinowski kindly sort of answered the only question that I had, which is when the gun was actually taken from him.  As a second part of that question, I asked how long Ternosky had his gun after the OOP was served upon him?  Immediately?  A few hours later?  Days?  Every minute that he possessed any gun, whether his or the department’s, is a minute that a crime was committed.

The statement was helpful, but it looks like we’ll never know how long he was allowed to possess a weapon.  That should be enough to alarm anyone.  The statement read that “as part of the process,” the gun was taken.

Again: at what part of the process?  When he was arrested by the deputies, they knew he was an SPD officer.  Did they take the gun then?  When he went in front of a judge, was he in civilian clothes?  Was he in uniform and did deputies seize it in open court?

If the answer to those questions don’t result in an “immediately” answer, then that could be a potential failing of the OCSO, the SPD and the Court. It’s downright scary that the subject of a domestic abuse arrest and an OOP would potentially have a gun on his person for any length of time.

I have reached out again to Malinowasi for a follow-up statement and I have also reached out to the OCSO for a comment from there.

Hopefully, I will get answers here.  I know that if I owned a gun (I don’t), and I had an OOP served upon me, the proper agency would get my weapons seized immediately.  What makes this officer-for-now so special?  And that raises another question: are they treating him with kid gloves because he’s in law enforcement?  Why is he being paid to allegedly abuse his child?

It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.


Update on May 11, 2024 at 8:19 p.m.

In response to my request for a comment from the OCSO, Thomas Newton, Director of Community Relations, responded saying that anyone’s weapon(s) would be seized immediately upon a judge’s signed order given to the Pistol Permit division.  That means that, if policy was followed,, the officer’s gun would have been seized pretty much immediately unless he did the right thing and voluntarily surrendered it.  Newton stated that he would have further comment on Monday, so I’ll report further on that when he responds again.

Update on May 13, 2024 at 9:43 a.m..

Newton sent another update that stated that the officer now has no weapons.  I’m waiting to hear from SPD as to when the weapon was actually seized.