TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Tompkins County has officially begun its search for the first leader of the Community Justice Center, which will serve to guide the implementation and maintenance of the Reimagining Public Safety reforms that were approved by the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County earlier this year.

The Community Justice Center has been touted as the headquarters, of sorts, for the reform effort. The center was established as a joint effort between the city and county over the summer, though the county will apparently hire and employ the director. The full job description is available here and the application period is open until August 15.

“As the Project Director, you are responsible for leading the implementation of the Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative,” the county stated in an announcement Thursday. “You will convene, organize, and collaborate with multiple stakeholders including community members to implement the plan’s recommendations. An ideal candidate will have experience leading & advancing equity-centered solutions on behalf of the community & a proven track record of commitment to equity & social justice.”

The county states that candidates do not have to be a Tompkins County resident, but must live in one of the six contiguous counties for at least one month for consideration for the job. Additionally, the county lists minimum qualifications as:

  • A Master’s Degree in sociology, education, public administration, ethnic studies, communication or a closely related field and three years of “progressively responsible full time administrative and management experience” OR
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in sociology, education, public administration, ethnic studies, communication or a closely related field and five years of “progressively responsible full time paid administrative and management experience”
  • Or, alternatively, any combination of training and experience that is greater than the first two criteria

The county’s job description does give a deeper glimpse into what the expectations are for the job and how the county views the role. Whoever accepts the position will be reporting to the County Administrator (or designee), and will provide updates both to the County Legislature and the City of Ithaca Common Council.

“The Project Director is responsible for understanding and translating the impact of the public safety system, including operational, disciplinary and internal investigation procedures, on minoritized members of the community and developing solutions according to the plan recommendations,” they said. “In addition, the Project Director is responsible for centering diversity, equity, inclusion and justice throughout the implementation process to achieve equitable outcomes in collaboration with the county, city departments and community stakeholders.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com