The city's new body camera policy for Police Department officers was presented to the Community Police Board on Wednesday afternoon.
Before hearing about the new policy, the board was presented the results of a survey conducted by the Ithaca Youth Council.
In the survey, seven questions were asked of 74 ninth-graders; 180 tenth-graders; 92 juniors; and 111 seniors, for a total of 458 responses. Of those who self-reported their ethnicity, 111 were White; 54 were Asian; 39 were Black; and about 30 were Hispanic- or Latin-American.
The survey results broke down answers to the questions by grade and ethnicity.
Students were asked to rate their comfort initiating an interaction with police, with 5 being the most comfortable and 1 the least.
By grade, the average rate of response on average was between 3.2 and 3.7.
By ethnicity, Hispanic students rated their comfort level the least at 2.7, with Black students averaging a 2.9, White students a 3.6, and Asian students a 3.8.
A majority of Black and Hispanic students said they thought their ethnicity was a factor in interactions with the IPD, while White and Asian students said they did not think that is the case.
In answer to the question whether they thought IPD "is equally protecting the Ithaca youth population," 64-percent of Black students said no, while all other ethnicities answered with a majority yes.
In response to the results, IPD Chief John Barber said they reinforced his position there should be a School Resource officer on the force, to have a better and known presence with students.
Watch ithaca.com for more on the city and county body camera policy, and look for a detailed report on the policy in the June 3 Ithaca Times.