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Statement from Mayor Tobin on Viral Photo of Cortland Police Officer

Local News

Mayor Tobin

Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin released a statement yesterday (October 21) addressing the viral internet photo of a Cortland Police officer seated in front of a computer background that appears to show a heated civilian-police altercation with an instigating caption. (More on that here)

City officials are now investigating the authenticity of the photo and trying to determine the person responsible for the computer background.

Anyone with more information about this incident can contact either Police Chief Catalano or Mayor Tobin.

Chief’s Office: Phone: (607)-753-3001

Mayor’s Office: (607)-753-0872

Full statement from Mayor Tobin below:

On Friday, City of Cortland Police Chief Catalano brought to my attention a picture posted on social media that displayed an inappropriate and insensitive meme on a computer screen.  It appears to have been taken at the City of Cortland police station, and appears to be a department computer. 

The image is inappropriate, and I strongly condemn it being used publicly or privately. Upon investigation it appears that the picture is over 6 years old.  It was not appropriate then, nor is it appropriate now. 

We are investigating the original post to determine its authenticity and to help us find the person(s) responsible for the computer in the picture.  I ask that anyone who has information about it to contact either Chief Catalano or myself to share what you know.  If a City employee put the picture on the computer screen, we want to hold that person accountable.

Further, the City will be conducting an independent review of current computer use/access policies.  If needed, we will make appropriate changes to ensure that all City equipment is being used professionally.  We will also review whether or not additional sensitivity training would be beneficial for the department. 

In Cortland, our officers know many of us, and our neighbors.  Most of the people in our community know officers by name.  Personally, I have great admiration and respect for all City employees who work for the public good. 

The mutual trust and respect between officers and our residents helps to keep us safe. We will continue to hold high standards for our staff to make sure that trust is earned and kept. 


Mayor Brian Tobin
City of Cortland

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