Yesterday, Ithaca’s Acting Police Chief John Joly announced that the IPD would take a “proactive approach” to increase its presence at Ithaca schools in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Joly cited anxiety among parents and students as the reason for the increased presence but said the department was not aware of any specific threats. Joly said the department’s goal was to give students and faculty a “increased sense of safety and security.”
Earlier this month the Ithaca Common Council announced it would conduct its own investigation into allegations of unethical behavior during the Reimagining Public Safety process. According to the Ithaca Times, the investigation will be separate from another inquiry being conducted by the Tompkins County Board of Ethics. First Ward councilor Cynthia Brock issued a complaint to the County Board of Ethics regarding payments made to members of the Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce. Brock’s claims include allegations that former Mayor Svante Myrick sought outside funds to pay members of the taskforce without Council approval. Myrick says he did not solicit outside funds and that he was authorized as Mayor to make the payments. Brock also attacked Myrick’s time as Mayor and an employee of People for the American Way, an organization which advocates for police reform, claiming a conflict of interest. Brock has been an opponent of the reimaging public safety process claiming it did not take enough input from the Common Council or the IPD.
Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul called on New York State to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 style rifle to 21. The minimum age is currently 18. Hochul made her proposal at a meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns. Hochul’s statement was in response to the shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left 19 children and 2 teachers dead. It also comes shortly after another mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. Both the shooter in Texas and the shooter in Buffalo were 18 and legally purchased their weapons.
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