Letter to the editor.
This is a letter to the editor from Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Managing Editor Thomas Giery Pudney at tgpudney@ithacavoice.com.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to express its continued commitment to building a trusted and respected relationship with all community members.  My campaign two years ago was based on this desire. Since I was elected Sheriff, I have remained committed to leading our agency in being actively engaged with all members of our community and to establishing and following best practices in the law enforcement profession.

We are all feeling a mix of emotions around the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd.  His death was inexcusable. As your Sheriff, the Tompkins County community can be reassured that I am dedicated to creating a culture that prioritizes the building of trust and legitimacy through community policing, training, and education.

As stated in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force (Barack Obama) on 21st Century Policing, “trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy.  It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.”  For this to occur, law enforcement administrators nationwide must strive for more from themselves and the agencies they lead.

My hope is that the people of Tompkins County feel that they can rely on the Sheriff’s Office and know that we are grieving with them and share in their outrage.  Now more than ever, it is time for collaboration between law enforcement and the community we took an oath to serve and protect.

Derek Osborne

Tompkins County Sheriff