ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)-- Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca have released partial budget estimates for the Reimagining Public Safety Draft. 

According to the budget breakdown, the total cost of the proposal as stands will be $992,587.20. This is assuming all 18 recommendations are passed by both the Common Council and the Tompkins County Legislature by April 1st. 

The report does state that, if all recommendations were passed, this would be a gradual implementation process, therefore funding would happen incrementally. Initially, the proposal would need around $600,000.00 to fund a Joint Community Justice Center, evaluate alternative response models, establish a pilot program for non-emergency calls, and develop a continuous recruitment strategy. 

The budget breakdown only asks for funding for nine out of the 19 recommendations, which are highlighted in bold below with total costs:

  1. Replace the City of Ithaca Police Department with a Community Solutions and Public safety department: TBD

  2. Evaluate existing models and implement an alternative to law enforcement response system for crisis intervention and wraparound health and human services: $225,000.00

  3. Better align available resources with emergency response needs by establishing a pilot program for non-emergency calls: $210,960.54

  4. Collect and evaluate the results of officer initiated traffic stop enforcement 

  5. Identify new curriculum, redesign and implement a culturally responsive training program that incorporates de-escalation and mental health components into a comprehensive response for law enforcement: $75,000.00 

  6. Develop a comprehensive community healing plan to address trauma in the

relationship between residents and law enforcement: $80,000.00

      7. City Standardize data entry and review existing data sets for more actionable

insights and allocation of public safety resources

       8. Develop a real-time public safety community dashboard: $26,766.00

       9.Create a Tompkins County Public Safety Review Board

       10.City Develop a comprehensive, inclusive, and innovative recruitment strategy

for law enforcement and corrections officers: $35,000.00

       11.Develop a County-wide program to promote and support holistic officer

Wellness: $40,000.00

       12.Seek ongoing and responsive collaboration from New York State Troopers

operating in Tompkins County

       13.Repurpose SWAT Mobile Command Vehicle to Tompkins County

Department of Emergency Response and Develop Policies for Use of Mobile Command

Vehicle, Centers: $51,000.00

      14.Conduct a Review of SWAT Callouts to Determine Appropriate Use of

Service and Equipment

      15.Grant City of Ithaca Community Police Board More Oversight Authority

      16.Require public disclosure of District Attorney and Assigned Counsel Office

Statistics on a quarterly and annual basis

      17.City Revise the Civil Service exam process to diversify law enforcement personnel

      18.Advocate for New York State to grant local civil service authorities the

authority to enact “continuous recruitment” of eligible candidates for law enforcement personnel

      19.Urge Governor Cuomo and/or the New York State Legislature to reform

disciplinary procedures for law enforcement personnel under Civil Service Law Section


The recommendations that were not highlighted above will require no additional cost and can be done with existing resources and staff. 

The most controversial recommendation, the replacement of the City of Ithaca Police Department with a Community Solutions and Public Safety Department is going to need funding because a detailed study will need to be done to determine the proper staffing. 

The second recommendation, hiring community solutions officers, would cost $210,960.54 and includes a one-time uniform cost and an annual salary with benefits amounting to $75,000. These numbers are not yet set in stone and additionally would be accompanied by a civilian director who would oversee the police chief and be paid $189,800.00 annually. This would also result in one less Deputy Chief that would allow $164,165.00 to be reallocated. 

This Police Reform Proposal is due by April 1st and until then, the city and the county are accepting public comments