Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino will host a public forum to discuss police reform Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. The forum will be streamed on the County's Youtube channel and the public is invited to actively participate through Youtube's live-interactive chat features.
Statewide, police departments are being required to submit a policing reform plan to the governor's office by April 1, 2021 in response to Executive Order 203, issued in response to the killing of George Floyd by Missouri police officers in May.
The governor called for police and communities to work collaboratively to rebuild the police-community relationships in June. He argued that there is no one size fits all solution, and each community must develop a plan that meets their community's individual policing needs.
"We have to address the tensions and lack of trust between our communities and the law enforcement that serves them. I am sending a letter to 500 jurisdictions, explaining that it is imperative that we address this urgent crisis," Governor Cuomo said. "I understand it's complicated. I understand it's difficult. But people are dying. New Yorkers do not run from a crisis - this is a time for leadership and action. Local elected officials must work together with the community and their police forces, to develop and implement reforms for a safer, fairer policing standard."
All Tompkins County municipalities with police departments are required to submit a plan to the state by the deadline. There are over 500 law enforcement agencies within New York state.
Members of the public are invited to review a prepared overview of Tompkins County governmental departments that report to the Public Safety Committee of the County Legislature and provide input on police reform via this survey.
The forum kicks off a series of public engagement opportunities that will be shared as Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca work with the Center for Policing Equity to review data and create reform plans. During the forum, Molino will provide an overview of Tompkins County governmental departments and share trends from community responses to the survey, as well as outline next steps in the police reform process.
Additional upcoming forums and community engagement sessions will be available and archived at this link. The City of Ithaca’s reinventing public safety web page can be found here. Tompkins County’s reinventing public safety web page can be found here.
In July, Ithaca College professor Cynthia Henderson hosted a town hall through her organization Performing Arts for Social Change in conjunction with the Kitchen Theatre Company to allow police officers and community members to create a social contract between IPD and Ithaca locals. The event transpired over two days:
Performing Arts for Social Change: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT