ITHACA, N.Y.—The City of Ithaca is asking for community feedback on the recommendations made in the Reimagining Public Safety Report.

A community town hall meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 22, (you can register for it here). Acting Mayor Laura Lewis and the Reimagining Public Safety Working Group Co-Leaders Eric Rosario and Karen Yearwood will highlight the report’s suggestions and respond to questions and feedback from community members. The event will also be available live and archived on the City of Ithaca’s YouTube channel.

The following topics are available for individuals to provide feedback or make comments on the suggestions regarding: Naming of the new department; leadership of the new department; names and leadership structure of divisions within the new department; key responsibilities of new divisions; call delineation between armed and unarmed responders; staffing levels, beat design and shift assignments; training protocols; equipment and technology needs; research and data needs; and budget.

The Southside Community Center is also holding a Black Town Hall to discuss the report and its recommendations at 5 p.m. March 31, which can also be watched live or archived on the YouTube channel.

Additional input and feedback will be sought in other community spaces, and working group members have presented details on the report to organizations including the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County and the Community Leaders of Color group. Input and questions can also be sent to questions@publicsafetyreimagined.org.

“We need your thoughts and feedback on this report,” Lewis said. “The suggestions made to develop and support a new Department of Community Safety are very transformative for our community and represent a different way of doing things. If these suggestions come to pass, we’ll have several types of calls for service that will be responded to by an unarmed official, and the training we’ve proposed will be totally revamped focused on de-escalation, mental health, and alternatives to use of force.”

There are approximately 20 plans under the Reimagining Public Safety initiative, and additional plans in progress can be found at www.publicsafetyreimagined.org.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...