Ithaca, N.Y. — Three new Ithaca police officers, including a veteran of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan and an Ithaca College student, were sworn in during a City Hall ceremony on Monday.

Mayor Svante Myrick and Police Chief John Barber welcomed the officers in front of friends, family and “the IPD family,” an Ithaca Police Department press release said.

Chief Barber, far left, and Mayor Myrick, far right, with IPD’s newest officers.
Chief Barber, far left, and Mayor Myrick, far right, with IPD’s newest officers.

Here’s the information the release gave about each of the new officers:


1 — Officer Israel Cosgrove

“Officer Cosgrove graduated from Corning Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and from Mansfield University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Officer Cosgrove graduated from the CNY Police Academy in 2009 and was recently employed as a police officer at TC3.


2 — Officer Robert Watkins

“Officer Watkins is a United States Army Veteran who served overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan and has received various Army medals for Achievement, Global War on Terrorism, and various other achievement medals.

Officer Watkins is a former Military Police Officer and was most recently employed by Loomis Armored Courier as an Armed Service Technician.

Officer Watkins graduated from Cayuga Community College with an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice at Keuka College.

Officer Watkins will attend the Syracuse Police Academy beginning next Monday.


3 — Officer Justin Baldessare

“Officer Baldessare is a reservist in the Army National Guard specializing in Human Intelligence. Officer Baldessare spent 8 months in Kuwait in 2012 and 2013. Officer Baldessare was most recently employed by Securitas Security Services as a Security Guard at the TC Public Library.

Officer Baldessare attended Tompkins Cortland Community College, where he studied Criminal Justice.

He is nearing the completion of his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration at Ithaca College. Officer Baldessare will also attend the Syracuse Police Academy beginning next Monday.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.