Message from the Chief

A Message from Chief Thomas J. Kelly

I am honored to have been chosen as the Police Chief of the Ithaca Police Department.  The culturally rich and flourishing Ithaca community is deserving of a professional, community engaged, and highly trained police department.  As your Chief of Police, I make the commitment to build upon and maintain trust while we at the Ithaca Police Department join with all Ithacans to work towards a safer Ithaca.  

As law enforcement professionals, it is important that we listen, and recognize that people have experiences that we can’t relate to.  We must do our best to be comfortable in uncomfortable conversations, to be open and learn.  Ithaca is ahead of the curve in many areas, we will continue several fronts including accountability and transparency with our community. 

Officers are responsible for everyone’s safety and at times must make split-second, life-changing decisions.  I ask that the community join with officers to promote safety.  Officers are encouraged to slow down decisions when safe and always practice the Principles of Procedural Justice including Voice, Neutrality, Respect and Trust.  Voice means listening to all sides of the situation, being neutral in decisions made, giving respect even if not received and always displaying trustworthiness in doing the things you say you will do.  

The job of a police officer is extremely difficult, especially in encounters with persons in crisis whose actions may be unrecognizable to their own family and friends.  We firmly believe in the sanctity of life, meaning every person, no matter what their circumstances, is valued and their life is sacred.   

I look forward to building relationships with our Ithaca community and our police officers.  Together, along with city leadership, the Ithaca Police Department will be the model of success for all communities and law enforcement professionals. 

Chief Kelly1