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Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office Update: Two Sheriff’s Clerks Hired Under Unarmed Pilot Program, Civil Service Exam for Deputies Upcoming

Unarmed Pilot Program, Clerks

Sam Pulliam and Tara Richardson (photos available here) have started in their full time roles as Sheriff’s Clerks, where they will manage calls under a pilot program to respond to certain non-emergency calls for service. The unarmed responses may be handled via telephone or in-person depending on the nature of the call. This pilot program is a Tompkins County Reimagining Public Safety plan and is being led by the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Derek Osborne.

The Reimagining Plan outlining this program includes the goal to better align available resources with emergency response needs. The program is intended to both assess the effectiveness and outcomes of unarmed responses to certain call types and free up time for Sheriff’s Deputies to respond to emergency calls, complete investigations, and build more relationships with members of the community. This pilot program is specific to the TCSO and does not impact the calls for service responded to by other local police departments.

TCSO recently held a public forum introducing the unarmed pilot program and detailing the Sheriff Clerks’ role handling calls. A recording of the forum can be viewed on the Tompkins County YouTube channel.

TCSO will report outcomes and data from the pilot program as the program progresses and will communicate updates via the Reimagining Public Safety Website. A plan for community input has been launched on the website, asking the community to “review the list of pilot program call types and share how you think success of this pilot program should be measured.” If you are interested in providing input on measuring success, submit an idea on the website.

Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne stated, “Welcome to Sam and Tara, I’m glad we’re getting the ball rolling with this program. I’ve been in law enforcement for a long time and this program shows that we have come a long way and are making important changes. This is a chance to look at what we’re doing differently and continue to work toward being a more inclusive law enforcement agency. TCSO cares about the community and offering the best and most responsive service possible, this is one of the ways we’re doing that.” Osborne added that “this program will officially go live in early July, and I look forward to the connections Sam and Tara will make and making progress on our Reimagining Public Safety goals.”

For more information on the Unarmed Pilot Program and other Reimagining Public Safety plans, visit the Reimagining Public Safety website.

Recruiting Sheriff’s Deputies

TCSO is recruiting for Sheriff’s Deputies and offering a civil service exam in September for those interested. Individuals interested must sign up for the exam by July 8 and can find more information at

TCSO offers generous benefits including retirement, health insurance, wellness incentives, paid vacation and personal leave, and longevity pay. Tompkins County Undersheriff Jennifer Olin stated, “Our Sheriff’s Office is a great place to work. We have a dedicated team who live our values of honor, pride, and integrity. If you’re looking to work for a forward-thinking organization that makes a difference in our community, don’t hesitate to sign up for the civil service exam. Our human resources department is very helpful and can answer any questions you might have about the exam process or the openings in our office.”