Ithaca, Tompkins Co. hosting forum Thursday night on police reform plans

Local News

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative of the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County has published its draft report for police reform and is looking for the public’s input.

Ithaca and Tompkins County residents are encouraged to submit questions, share their feedback and input on the plan. The draft report and supplemental materials can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/RPS-report-folder.

A public forum outlining the draft recommendations and answering questions from the community will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. on the Tompkins County YouTube channel. Members of the public who would like to ask a question live can register for the Zoom webinar here

Input can also be shared through an online form by clicking here, by mail, local drop boxes, or by leaving a voicemail by calling 607-274-5465.

BY MAIL:

c/o RPS Collaborative

125 E. Court St.

Ithaca, NY 14850

LOCAL DROP BOX LOCATIONS:

  • City Hall, 108 East Green Street, Ithaca
  • County Offices, 125 East Court Street, Ithaca

19 recommendations are being made by the Collaborative for the City Council and County Legislature, some are particular to that municipality, while others address both.

Recommendations include significant changes in law enforcement departments, evaluation of alternative response models, changes in training curriculum, a community healing plan, a law enforcement recruitment strategy, and more civilian engagement and review of law enforcement activities. Each draft recommendation is outlined in the report. 

The City of Ithaca is recommending replacing the Ithaca Police Department with a Community Solutions and Public Safety Department that includes both armed and unarmed officers. 

Tompkins County is recommending the evaluation and implementation of an alternative response model that addresses crisis intervention and delivers wraparound health and human services, as well as a pilot program for non-emergency calls. 

Both the City and the County are co-recommending further data standardization and transparency mechanisms, as well as citizen review, and advocating for revision of the New York State civil service systems to promote more equitable hiring practices. The City and County are also co-recommending a repurposing of the SWAT mobile command vehicle and an external review of SWAT callouts to determine appropriate service. 

The draft will be received by both the City of Ithaca Common Council and Tompkins County Legislature for adoption by the April 1, 2021, deadline outlined in New York State’s executive order.

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