TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The law enforcement reimagining process is still in its infancy in Ithaca and Tompkins County, but community engagement has been one of its pillars and has now taken a significant step forward.
The Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative has launched its community feedback tool, located at www.publicsafetyreimagined.org, which will field input from people around the county, particularly around two aspects of the plan to start: implementing an unarmed response unit in the City of Ithaca, and developing a community healing plan to “address trauma in the relationship between residents and law enforcement for Ithaca and Tompkins County.”
As each plan is opened for its phase of feedback, new announcements will be made. There is a ‘How it Works’ page on the website which should further assist answering questions.
“This is our chance to rethink how we police our communities, who responds to crises, and how we treat one another when someone is in need,” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick in an announcement. “We have a balanced and meaningful set of plans that grassroots community members, communities of color, officers, experts, and your elected officials all constructed and agreed to together. Together, we can use tools like this website, our public forums, and the conversations we have with one another to make clear the future we’d like to see.”
Interim Tompkins County Administrator Lisa Holmes also chimed in that the reforms will be strengthened with more community involvement.
The reimagining site will be used for community engagement, forums, and input on the plans, some of the most sweeping law enforcement reform in New York to come from the police violence protests last year. It will also help community members stay up to date on the progress of the reforms. Two virtual sessions will help introduce the site and serve as a tutorial for people who want to use it, on Friday, September 24, 4:00-6:00pm (join any time) and Tuesday, October 26, 4:30-6:30pm (join any time).
“This tool is designed to bring community perspective to the forefront of the conversations on how to reimagine policing and public safety in Ithaca & Tompkins County,” said Dr. Tracie Keesee, SVP of Social Justice Initiatives and Co-Founder of the Center for Policing Equity. She was also integral in the formulation of the reform slate. “There are more than 20 plans that will be live on this website over the course of implementation, and we’re seeking the community’s perspective on each one of them.”