TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– After more than a month of holding public forums and hearing feedback from residents on how to best approach police reform, Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca are now planning for the next stage of the “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative.”
The collaborative effort, which is part of an executive order from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring all municipalities with police departments in New York State to adopt a plan for police reform by April 1, 2021, is set to complete the first phase of reform work with a town hall outlining community input to date, answering questions, and providing updates on developing a plan to reimagine public safety.
“We’ve received hundreds of ideas from community members so far. Even though the pandemic has complicated how we meet with the community and receive input, I want to thank everyone who has spoken at our community voices forums and answered our surveys,” Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino said. “It’s clear that we have an opportunity to reimagine how we keep people safe in our community, and many of the creative ideas and critiques we’ve heard are informing how we plan to move forward.”
The town hall will take place on Friday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m., with Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, County Administrator Jason Molino, Tompkins County Sherriff Derek Osborne and Ithaca City Police Chief Dennis Nayor hosting. A list of questions that officials will answer can be found here.
The next phase of the “reimagining” is working groups made up of community leaders, county and city officials, law enforcement officers and administrative staff looking at the viability of solutions suggested over the last five weeks, and submitting official reports from the angles of budgetary concerns, communications, public safety, empirical analysis and an academic standpoint.
The members of the working groups and their duties can be found below:
More information of the working groups can be found here.
“Everyone involved in this process is listening closely to community input. The working group members bring their own lived experience and engage with communities and analyze the input we receive to help inform the process,” Myrick said. “I want to thank the community members who’ve stepped up to provide their input and engage their networks in this process; change is on the horizon.”
More information on the Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative can be found on the Tompkins County website, and additionally, anyone interested in viewing previous forums can see them here.