Keeping Ithaca safe and ‘attacking’ the systemic biases that exist in the criminal justice system.
Those are the two primary goals of a sweeping reform plan that was unanimously approved by Ithaca City Council on Wednesday.
“To create an entirely new superstructure that we can use to attack the problems of systemic bias in the criminal justice system while keeping every Ithacan as safe as possible,” Mayor Svante Myrick said.
While there was some disagreement about language, Council eventually came to terms on the nuts-and-bolts, creating a task force to develop the new department.
In the plan the Ithaca Police Department will be replaced with a a Public Safety Department.
“We have enough information to know a new department is needed, it’s beneficial, it’d be productive. Let’s commit to doing that and then ask the task force to design that new department,” Myrick added.
Councilor Ducson Nguyen called it a ‘first step’. “But it’s a pretty big one and it shows w’ere committed to a new direction that will really focus on changing the culture and accountability,” he added.
It’s unclear how quickly this plan will come to fruition- mainly becuase there are so many moving parts.
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