ITHACA, N.Y. — Since Dec. 22, there has been one stabbing, two shootings and a robbery in Ithaca. In a city that’s generally pretty safe, officials have taken notice of this sudden surge of violent crime.

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“Well, yeah, it is highly unusual both for this time of year and any time of year,” Mayor Svante Myrick said. “We might average one shooting for an entire year or two stabbings for an entire year.”

Related — Ithaca Police: Most property, violent crime down in 2014

Ithaca police officer Jamie Williamson said none of the crimes appear to be related.

“There’s been an increase especially for this time of year,” he said. “That’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Crime, he said, tends to increase when the weather is warmer because it’s easier to travel and be outside. So it’s possible that these above average winter temperatures are having an impact on crime.

Williamson said that officers are not just waiting around for the next crime to happen, though. They’re vigorously pursuing suspects and patrolling the streets to prevent crimes.

“That’s a tragedy that were are not going to wait around to unfold without our officers doing their best to prevent,” he said.

Two arrest have been made of the four violent crimes reported recently. Police, however, are still looking for the suspect who robbed a delivery driver Saturday night. The person who snatched the driver’s food allegedly dropped a knife at the scene.

Williamson said police were not releasing any more information Tuesday about a shooting that happened near downtown residents Saturday. There did not initially appear to be injuries but the back window of a car was shot out. He said more information will likely be released Wednesday.

Related — Update: Shotgun fired at man during Ithaca shooting near downtown

As for the city, Myrick said more officers are being hired after a November round of recruitment.  Six officers were slated to begin training as Ithaca Police officers.

He also said a community action team is still rolling out this year, which will place several officers on the street to engage with Ithacans about issues happening in people’s neighborhood and provide better assistance when crimes do happen.

They can also work in a proactive way to be present or provide extra backup when crimes are likely to happen, such as Friday night in Collegetown.

“Any amount of crime is unacceptable and any amount of crime is too much crime,” he said.

Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245
Crime Stoppers Tipline: 607-697-0333
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ithaca-Police-Department/268935962829?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ithacapolice

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.