Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick released a statement yesterday (January 9) detailing an internal investigation that found the Ithaca Police Department failed to investigate hundreds of plausible cases over the past decade, many of which were reported sexual offenses.
Official records on the matter were provided to both the District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General.
No names were released, but Myrick did say his office was taking appropriate action with the officers involved in those failures, which includes identifying and terminating the person found directly responsible.
“I am shocked and saddened by these revelations, which can easily erode public confidence in the IPD,” Myrick said. “I do, however, draw encouragement from the confidence that I have in the IPD’s current leadership, including a new Chief, a new Deputy Chief for Professional Standards, and new policies established by new leadership in the Investigations Division, under which the IPD is proactively ensuring that a failure of this sort will never happen again.”
Additionally, Myricks’ office noted the following corrective actions that have been made so far:
- New expectations have been disseminated to the Investigators.
- All open cases require an update every two weeks unless a Division supervisor approves otherwise (due to vacations and/or other time off).
- The Division holds daily briefings in an effort to increase communication, efficiency, and teamwork.
- All cases are tracked from the time they are assigned to the time that they are closed.
- The Division has established via County IT a new module of the Spillman CAD system for Investigations. This case management module is now the method for tracking all investigative efforts involved with every new case assigned. It allows for custom searches and reports and custom Excel Spreadsheets, helping to eliminate the possibility of human error when tracking case activity.
- The Technical Sergeant has been retitled as a second Criminal Investigative Sergeant, and now works under the Investigations Division umbrella. This Sergeant provides for an additional layer of supervision and oversight.
- The Division is also implementing monthly supervision meetings with each investigator. During these meetings, the supervisor will pull a report of the open and assigned cases and review the progress and status of each case with the Investigator.
- The supervision team for Investigations includes a Lieutenant and two Sergeants. The three supervisors are responsible for direct supervision of the Investigators, as well as oversight of all department Evidence, the Body-Worn Camera Program, warrants, the Crime Scene Unit, and the management of confidential funds and informants.
- All investigators are now generalists to ensure equitable work distribution. This means that Investigations no longer has single designations for the Investigators, such as Juvenile or Sex Crimes. All Investigators assigned to the Division will receive appropriate training and will handle all varieties of cases.