The Ithaca Police Union has issued a scathing response to Mayor Svante Myrick’s proposed reforms to the city’s police department.
In a statement released Thursday, Ithaca Police Benevolent Association President John Joly said their members read Myrick’s reforms with “surprise and dismay.”
While Myrick proposes a 10 percent increase in staffing, Joly said the mayor has “cut the department to the point of catastrophe.”
One of Myrick’s recommendations included the creation of a Community Action Team to get more officers involved in community policing.
“This is the type of policing that our Department should be doing,” Joly said. “As a matter of fact we would be doing far more proactive enforcement already had the Mayor not cut the funding for nine Police Officers two years ago.”
Joly says the union is strongly opposed to the idea of requiring officers to live within the city, refuting Myrick’s claim that the officers would feel more invested in the community.
“The suggestion that officers who live in the city would be any more invested is inaccurate and unsupported and a slap in the face to the members of the PBA,” he said. “The notion that resident officers would have a quicker response time is also absurd since officers rarely if ever are called to immediately respond from home.”
He added that if officers live in the city, they and their family now becomes an easy target for retaliation.
Myrick issued the recommendations earlier this week in response to criticism the department has received following an August 9 incident in which an Ithaca police sergeant drew his firearm on a group of teenagers.