In a significant policy reversal, the Ithaca Common Council has unanimously voted to retain the Ithaca Police Department (IPD), after years of contention around its potential abolishment.
The April 5, 2023, adoption of a Public Safety Committee report confirms the IPD will retain its name and city department status, led by a Chief of Police, with no job losses or rank reduction for officers.
This marks the first formal step away from the abolition plan proposed by former Mayor Svante Myrick in 2021, acknowledging the need for an adequately staffed police department in the city’s reimagined public safety plan.
Thomas Condzella, President of the Ithaca PBA, expressed relief at the decision, emphasizing the current administration’s commitment to working with the union and making IPD a desirable and stable place to work. Following the decision, Lieutenant Ted Schwartz was appointed Acting Police Chief, a move welcomed by the PBA for his proven track record.
This turnaround has been attributed to the dedication of the IPD officers and significant changes in City Hall’s relationships, including a shift in the city attorney’s role and an investigation into the former mayor’s conduct around police reforms. The decision has garnered widespread support from various labor unions, emphasizing the influence of union solidarity in this outcome.
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