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Community Justice Center Invites the Public to June 13 Community Healing Event

The Community Justice Center, a joint initiative of Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca tasked with the implementation of collaborative Reimagining Public Safety plans, invites the Tompkins County community to a public Community Healing event from 5-7pm on Thursday June 13 at the Audrey Cooper Center for Restorative Justice and Reconciliation at 502 West Martin Luther King Jr. / State Street, Ithaca. Those interested in attending must register in advance at .

Healing the local relationship between law enforcement and members of the community, with a specific focus on community members of color, is a focus of the Reimagining Public Safety initiative passed by the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County in 2021.

During the June 13 event the Community Justice Center will, with the support of trained facilitators, hold small group topic-based discussions with community members and law enforcement officers. Several reflection questions have been prepared by facilitators and will be posed to all attendees throughout the event. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at the beginning of the event (around 5pm) and plan to stay through the end at 7pm to participate fully.

This is one event in a series being planned throughout 2024, the Community Justice Center will share future invitations via its email newsletter (sign up online here).

Monalita Smiley, Project Director of the Community Justice Center stated, “We are making progress with building bridges between officers and community members, now is the time for more people to join these conversations and build community with one another. I am looking forward to bringing more community members into the conversation in June and I am grateful for the officers specifically at the Ithaca Police Department for their participation in these conversations with community.”  

Chief Thomas J. Kelly of The Ithaca Police Department believes these conversations are important to learning from each other and building trust. “We recognize that there are members of our community that have been marginalized. In order to enhance community safety, we need to be empathetic to our community's lived experience."