Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca have released a draft of their Public Safety Reimagined report.

The report comes in response to Governor Cuomo’s executive Order 203, mandating municipalities review their public safety systems. 

The draft report was produced under the advisement of the Center for Policing Equity. It includes 19 detailed recommendations for the City and County governments. These recommendations were developed using working groups composed of community members, City and County staff, and public safety officers.

Included in those 19 recommendations is establishing a program for non-emergency calls and crisis intervention; developing a program for officer wellness; creating a county Public safety review board; and, the first on the list, replace the City of Ithaca’s Police Department with a Community Solutions and Public Safety Department. 

Ithaca Mayor, Svante Myrick, admitted the process of replacing the Police Department with a whole new department will be tricky. 

He said, "It’s probably an overused metaphor that you’ve heard: It’s too hard to put together a plane while flying it. What we’re trying to do is continue flying one thing -- that’s the police department -- while we custom build another one."

How this replacement will be implemented is yet to be determined. 

The draft report has been presented to the public for feedback that could be incorporated into the final document. This final version will be put before the County Legislature and the City Council for their approval, before being submitted to the New York State Governor’s Office on April 1st.

You can find the draft report and associated items here

More information on the Reimagining Public Safety Process can be found online: https://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/ctyadmin/reimaginepublicsafety

Community members are encouraged to share their input through this online form.

A public forum outlining the draft recommendations and answering questions from the community will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30pm 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.