News Flash

City of Ithaca News

Posted on: January 23, 2023

Community Justice Center Opens Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Reimagining Public Safety Plan


Community Justice Center Opens Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Reimagining Public Safety Plan for Public Ideas, Begins Working Group

The Community Justice Center (CJC) has announced that work has begun on the joint City of Ithaca and Tompkins County Reimagining Public Safety plan to develop new strategies to recruit and retain law enforcement officers.  

The plan’s ultimate goal is to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce of law enforcement officers. A working group including law enforcement leadership and community members has begun work as outlined in the 2022 and 2023 work plans, published on the Reimagining Public Safety website. The CJC is also inviting the wider public to share ideas on strategies that the City and County should consider to help increase diversity of law enforcement units.  

Share your ideas on the Reimagining Public Safety website.                                      

Community Justice Center Project Director Monalita Smiley stated, “Having a more diverse local police force would have a huge impact. We’re looking to find and fund strategies that can ultimately increase trust between the community and law enforcement, employ more officers with diverse lived experiences around race, gender, and sexuality, and to retain officers who are able to develop and keep lasting community relationships.” Smiley continued, “hopefully the outcomes of our work will go beyond ideas on how to advertise positions. We’re looking for new ways to do this, so we’re asking the community for their creativity.” 

Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne stated, “It is harder than ever to find talented people who want a career in law enforcement, this is one opportunity to expand our reach and find new ways to encourage talented people from all backgrounds to consider this career. Working in law enforcement is an excellent way to make a difference in the community, every day we are out there helping people – I know that we have more people who want a rewarding career that gives them those opportunities.” Osborne continued, “Diversifying staff at the Sheriff’s Office has been a goal of ours, and I hope the outcomes of this plan will be to give us more tools and ways to find and keep officers committed to the goals of our office.”  

City of Ithaca Director of Human Resources Schelley Michell-Nunn stated, “From a human resources perspective, recruiting law enforcement officers has been extremely challenging. We’re looking for your ideas - members of our community can share with us ideas and strategies to encourage someone to consider a career path into law enforcement. Law enforcement is a stable, rewarding, and impactful career, so we’re trying to uncover ways to highlight that and get more people interested in this work.”

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