Ithaca Police Department facing urgent officer shortage

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Ithaca Police Department is calling attention to an urgent staffing shortage that could pose a heightened public safety risk to the community.

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Calls rushed in about a shooting earlier this week that would end up being a homicide. There weren’t enough sworn-in officers available to respond effectively, according to an official IPD statement.

This prompted a need for assistance from Cornell University Police and Ithaca College Public Safety.

IPD thanked both agencies for their assistance, professionalism and response — but also used the instance to sound an important alarm.

The statement continued:

“Violent crime is on the rise in the City of Ithaca and there simply aren’t enough sworn Ithaca Police Officers. Murderers and violent criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They shouldn’t get any advantages because of the staffing deficit we face.

The Community and other Public Safety Agencies shouldn’t be forced to pay the consequences for the poor political decisions that have led to the mismanagement of the Ithaca Police Department by City Hall.

We should not be forced to rely on the resources of other agencies in an initial response to a violent crime, especially those of the campus communities, who have their own campus-specific public safety needs that should be prioritized before they are used on the opposite side of the City.

[Sunday] night was an excellent example of teamwork and the willingness of our fellow Officers to help the Ithaca Community in our time of need.

It was also, however, another reminder that the number of Sworn Ithaca Police Officers is dangerously low and that your Ithaca Officers are running on fumes and have been for quite some time.

When you call 911 to report a serious violent crime you shouldn’t have to wait. When 911 arrives, there should be enough Sworn Ithaca Police Officers to help secure a guilty verdict for the Community, for the Victim, and for their family.

Tired of the nonsense? Ready for some common sense? Join the community coalition today and click this link to sign the petition in support of a safer Ithaca.”

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