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Ithaca gets interim police chief amid acting chief’s leave of absence

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Ithaca Police Department’s Acting Chief John Joly has recently requested a leave of absence. In response, Mayor Laura Lewis announced on Tuesday that IPD Lieutenant Ted Schwartz will be stepping in as Acting Chief, according to an official statement from City Hall.


Effective immediately, Schwartz’s appointment is anticipated to last until a permanent Police Chief is found. The city has hired a search firm to locate a suitable candidate, and the recruitment announcement for the permanent position was posted this week.

A native of Ithaca, Schwartz joined the force in 2011. His responsibilities as a Sergeant included overseeing training, the K-9 program, fleet management, and special event coordination. Later promoted to Lieutenant, Schwartz supervised the midnight patrol before being assigned as Lieutenant of Investigations in March 2020.


Mayor Lewis expressed her confidence in Schwartz, stating that his extensive experience and service within the IPD make him the ideal candidate for the temporary position. She also emphasized the importance of this appointment in ensuring the department’s operational integrity and public safety during the transition period.

Acting Chief Schwartz shared his commitment to providing stability during this critical time, as well as exploring various ways to support the IPD’s officers. He plans to focus on continuing recruitment efforts for vacant police officer positions in collaboration with City Administration until a permanent chief is appointed.