SWAT Commander Jake Young

Despite the lack of snow and only mild bouts of cold, the holiday season is surely upon us. 'Tis the season for 19 minute meetings of City Hall committees.

In this whirlwind time, the City Administration committee approved substituting three building & maintenance workers into the Department of Public Works force, in exchange for eliminating five parking attendant positions, no longer needed due to automation.

The committee also approved the SWAT team mutual aid agreement between the Ithaca Police Department and the Tompkins County Sheriffs' Office  for a vote by full Common Council. This is a standard yearly renewal of the agreement, but since there's little else to write about, let's excerpt a few paragraphs of the legal language just for the record ...

On the "authorization" line ... "Intergovernmental SWAT Team service and assistance (mutual aid) may be provided among the parties during those times of both (i) emergency and (ii) routine law enforcement work of a non-emergency nature to fulfill a mutual aid request. Examples of the latter situation would be pre-arranged training exercises and programs as well as temporary assignment of law enforcement officers and/or equipment to another law enforcement agency for training or patrol purposes where the officers and/or equipment may be involved in police intervention situations."

And, while IPD is in command during any incident within the city and the Sheriff is in command outside the city limits,  this 'graph is rather interesting as to the powers retained by each department during an incident:

"The obligation to render mutual aid is strictly voluntary in nature. When the SWAT Team is activated, each party may hold back any personnel and equipment as deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of its chief law enforcement officer or his or her designee. Each party has the right to recall loaned personnel and equipment at any time. Neither party shall incur any liability or responsibility for the failure to respond to or recall any personnel provided in response to any request for assistance made pursuant to this Agreement."

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