ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Thursday night, the first public forum for the City of Ithaca’s police reform plan invited residents to ask any questions they wanted.
Mayor Svante Myrick started the meeting with an apology to the police department for releasing information about the plan to GQ Magazine, before telling the Ithaca Police Department.
“My sincerest apology for both allowing that and speaking to the reporter before speaking to the police union about this recommendation,” Myrick said.
This plan is being called one of the most ambitious plans anywhere. The Ithaca Police Department would be replaced with the “Department of Community Solution and Public Safety.” It would have two kinds of officers: Armed and unarmed.
During the public forum, residents had many questions about how the plan would work.
One resident asked the mayor, “I don’t understand how you could reimagine the police when you haven’t even reimagined the idea of the police, so what I’m asking is how can we expect reconciliation from the police when we don’t even get it from our elected officials in office?”
Myrick responded with, “I get to work with the police department every day and I see the many thousands of calls that go on and I see the thousands of acts of service and sacrifice that they make.”
That same resident also talked about some of the struggles the Black and brown community deal with when it comes to law enforcement.
“Everything you just described is a reality of the culture of law enforcement that needs to be addressed, which is why we’re calling for the creation of a new department built from the ground up.”
Several residents had questions for the mayor and the Tompkins County Administrator. To watch the full forum, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVKnJl06JOQ