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The community is invited to participate in a survey regarding local police services as a part of a multi-faceted effort to gather community input for a study of law enforcement shared services. The study, undertaken by the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research (CGR), was commissioned by Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca, with participation by the Cayuga Heights, Dryden, and Groton police departments to identify organizational strategies to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
The survey is available online, in English and Spanish, at https://surveymonkey.com/r/TompkinsLESS
In addition, a short text-based survey is available by texting “Yes” or “No” to (607) 275-5457 in response to the following question: “Are you satisfied with the current Law Enforcement Services you receive in Tompkins County?” You will then be engaged in a texting survey consisting of seven additional questions.
The public engagement process will include a public input session on Monday, March 20th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at The Space @Greenstar. CGR, with Highland Planning, will also be conducting facilitated focus group discussions, anticipated to occur in April, and, as organizational options are developed, will conduct several public comment sessions, anticipated for June, to gather opinions about those options.
The six-month study, supported by the Municipal Restructuring Fund administered by the New York State Department of State, will evaluate the way police services are now provided within Tompkins County and assess potential organizational changes that could improve efficiency and effectiveness. CGR will be reviewing potential measures that range from combining certain functions, such as training, to fully consolidating police agencies. Their study will conclude with the presentation of a few options to the public and the legislative bodies of the participating governments for a decision about whether to move forward toward implementation.
Police protection is one of the most important functions provided by local government, and among the most costly. The participating jurisdictions are committed to providing the highest quality of service at the lowest possible cost to their communities, and view the CGR study as a means to ensure that police services are organized in a way to best achieve those dual goals.
A webpage has been created to allow the public to monitor progress on the study, and to offer their suggestions. The website can be accessed from the County’s web page at www.tompkinscountyny.gov or at https://www.cgr.org/TompkinsLESS/.