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City of Ithaca News

Posted on: December 1, 2021

City of Ithaca Releases Analysis of 911 Calls, Officer Workload, and Staffing for IPD

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Today, December 1, 2021, the City of Ithaca publicly released an analysis of the 911 calls, officer workload, and staffing of the Ithaca Police Department’s (IPD) patrol division. The Center for Policing Equity contracted the Matrix Consulting Group to conduct the analysis. This was done in support of the Reimagining Public Safety initiative and in response to the resolution from Common Council accepting the Reimagining plans on March 31, 2021. 

Findings from the data suggest: 

  • Response times to calls for service, at a median of 10.5 minutes, indicate that IPD has the capacity to handle calls in a timely manner as they occur.

  • Out of the total time that IPD patrol officers are on duty, 59% of their time is available to use proactively, with the other 41% spent handling community-generated calls for service. 

  • These findings indicate that current staffing is sufficient to provide a high level of patrol service.

  • There has not been a consistent increase in calls for service over the past five years. However, the amount of officer-initiated activities that are conducted, such as traffic stops, has dropped significantly.

  • 22% of all calls for service handled by IPD, could be handled by an alternative unarmed response.

“This data is incredibly helpful as we continue the work of reimagining public safety,” said Karen Yearwood, City of Ithaca Working group’s co-lead. “Law enforcement and municipalities around the country frequently use these types of analyses to inform their work and strategic planning, and we see this as helping us to plan for the best service delivery and community engagement from officers and other public safety responders to be defined by this process.” 

Eric Rosario, City of Ithaca Working group’s co-lead added, "Law enforcement is a core area of expertise for Matrix consulting, having conducted over 350 studies for law enforcement agencies. We acknowledge that there are diverging viewpoints within our community about policing workload and efficiency in Ithaca, and the Matrix data is just part of the conversation  that the Working Group is using to help inform our work."

“The first step in reimagining public safety is to uplift the voices of the communities that are working to bring about lasting, positive change,” said Dr. Tracie Keesee, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Social Justice Initiatives at the Center for Policing Equity. “CPE is pleased to continue our partnership with Ithaca as they lead their efforts to build a public safety system that works for everyone.”

The findings can be viewed here and a recording of the presentation of the analysis to the City’s working group can be found here. Prior to this publication, the findings were delivered to the City’s Reimagining Public Safety working group, the Ithaca Police Department, and to City Common Council. 

A summary of the data was also delivered to the City of Ithaca Common Council during their monthly update on December 1, 2021. The report utilized data provided by the City of Ithaca Police Department, and results have been made available to all IPD personnel.This report is being published as an extension of the public communications from the Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative, and in response to questions regarding existing IPD staffing levels and calls for service that were posed throughout the process of drafting the initial For updated news and information on the collaborative, and to share your ideas on Reimagining Plans, visit www.publicsafetyreimagined.org use the weekly ad placed in the free Tompkins Weekly newspaper.

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