Ithaca Council Voting on Police Chief Hire Wednesday

Categories Ithaca, Law Enforcement, Politics

By Josh Brokaw

Ithaca’s Common Council will vote on making Peter Tyler the city’s permanent police chief on Wednesday night at its December meeting.

Tyler was appointed interim chief in March 2017 by Mayor Svante Myrick, after John Barber’s retirement.

TruthSayers reported in August that four candidates for the next Ithaca police chief posted qualifying scores in a civil service examination for the position held in June. Tyler was not one of those candidates.

Read More: Search for New Ithaca Police Chief Underway

Myrick announced his recommendation of Tyler on November 14, via Facebook and press release. According to an email Myrick sent the Ithaca Voice, Tyler will have to pass the civil service exam within a year to maintain his position if approved by Common Council. 

Myrick did not respond to a request for comment on this topic via email by this reporter. The mayor’s full statement on Facebook accompanying his recommendation of Tyler is below.

According to city human resources director Schelley Michell-Nunn, the “eligible list” that TruthSayers obtained “included names of those who were eligible to be considered (eligible list), but not everyone on that list was interested (certification of eligibles). Because there were at least two people not interested, the City did not have a mandatory list. Under Civil Service Law section 65 (Provisional Appointments), not the City Charter, you are not required to hire from a non-mandatory list.”

According to Myrick’s statement, the Ithaca Police Department will “place special emphasis on Community Crisis and Implicit Bias training for its officers in the upcoming year. IPD will also work and continue development for strategic planning for special events safety and preparedness, Traffic and Bike Safety and improvements to their internal data/reporting systems.”

Common Council meets at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, at City Hall, 108 E. Green St. Opportunity for public comment opens every council meeting. Council will also be discussing gating off ‘Ezra’s Tunnel’ along Fall Creek — bookmark TruthSayers’ weekly Government Happenings, updated on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings, to learn everything that’s on meeting agendas across Tompkins County.

Read More Recent TruthSayers Reporting on Policing in Ithaca:

November 28: Ithaca SWAT Call on South Hill

November 21: How Ithaca Can Arrest Fewer People: Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion

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Josh Brokaw is an independent reporter based in Ithaca, N.Y.

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