Reinvent Public Safety
Mayor Svante L. Myrick is assembling and leading a task force to Reinvent Public Safety in the City of Ithaca. The task force has a broad mandate: to consult the public and deliver to Common Council a set of recommendations that re-imagines the Ithaca Police Department and all public safety programs.
In addition to the task force, Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino and Sheriff Derek Osborne are working to create a countywide coalition of municipalities to review and reform policing in our broader community. Mayor Myrick committed to joining that coalition, and the City task force will be folded tightly into broader community efforts.
The Mayor believes this work is necessary for two reasons:
First, because policing nationally - and here in the City of Ithaca - has lost the trust of the most vulnerable populations.
Second - the City is facing an unprecedented financial crisis. COVID-19 has decimated sales tax revenue and will likely have a lingering effect on our economy and City budget. 'Business as usual' won't be possible for any city operation - and that includes public safety. So a reinvention is necessary.
Decisions will be informed by a thorough public process that will include town halls, door-to-door canvassing, surveys, and consultation with organized groups like Community Leaders of Color (CLOC), Black Lives Matter, the Public Safety and Information Commission, the Community Police Board, Mutual Aid Tompkins, the Police Benevolent Association, neighborhood groups, student organizations, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, our neighboring municipalities - and more.
We must begin this work with three specific outcomes in mind:
First, a total review and reformation of policies. Second, the funding of public safety alternatives. Third, the continued de-militarization of our Police Department.
If you'd like to be a formal Community Advisor to the work please complete this form. Whether you participate in informal public input opportunities or sign up to be a formal Community Advisor – we will need the full engagement of all our residents to build a better, safer, City of Ithaca.