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Ithaca (NY) – Police Officers Found Out About Plan To Eliminate Dept From Article In GQ Magazine

Ithaca (NY) – Police Officers Found Out About Plan To Eliminate Dept From Article In GQ Magazine

Many officers plan on leaving sooner rather than waiting.

A few weeks ago, we reported that Ithaca, New York Mayor Svante Myrick was contemplating replacing the police with ‘community solution workers.’

Myrick discussed this with GQ Magazine before he ever even mentioned the idea to the Ithaca Police. The police are not happy. Some of them are already seeking work elsewhere.

John Yoon reports at the Cornell Daily Sun:

Ithaca Police Officers Grapple With Department Overhaul

Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 announced on Feb. 22 a proposal to end the current version of the Ithaca Police Department and to reimagine public safety — but the IPD said it had not been adequately informed before its release.

During last week’s Common Council Committee of the Whole and Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative meetings, Myrick apologized to the IPD for speaking to the magazine GQ before the IPD and to the members of the Common Council. IPD officers said they found out about the details of the proposal through the GQ article rather than from Myrick himself.

“I want to reiterate my sincere apology for both speaking to the reporter [from GQ] before speaking to the Police Union about this recommendation and realizing … the timing, the tone was inappropriate,” Myrick said in the Reimagining Public Safety meeting on Thursday.

Myrick claims that Ithaca Police Chief Dennis Nayor was part of the ongoing conversation, but Nayor claims he never saw a final proposal. He also says that Ithaca police are tired of being made into targets.

Nayor, speaking on behalf of the department, said the IPD feels police officers have become the catch-all for most of Ithaca’s problems. Although Nayor said he agrees with Myrick that the department must focus on mental health, addiction and homelessness, the proposal is too “extreme” in his eyes…

The police chief added that the officers he spoke to feel devalued and dejected because they first learned about this sweeping change from GQ rather than the city. Nayor said some officers actively began to look for other places to work, some of the neighboring counties that are eager to recruit officers from the IPD.

Thomas Condzella, who leads Ithaca’s Police Benevolent Association, says crime is on the rise in Ithaca and that Myrick is playing with fire.

The Olean Times Herald reports:

“Key stakeholders have been left out,” said Thomas Condzella, the leader of the Ithaca’s Police Benevolent Association. “Those stakeholders are the police. We are experienced professionals.”

The mayor gave an interview to GQ that announced the proposal, which blindsided some police department members, according to Condzella. The mayor later apologized for that, according to

Conzella said the mayor is taking a gamble on the safety of the police and the community they serve. He suggested the mayor is deliberately hamstringing the police department to help his case that the department needs to be replaced.

“Violent crime in the city of Ithaca is steadily rising. However, our ability to address it is decreasing by the day, almost as if by design, to further this proposal,” he said.

A recent letter to the editor at The Ithaca Voice echoed that sentiment:

Letter to the Editor: “The Mayor’s proposal to abolish the Ithaca Police Department and create a new agency is both misguided and dangerous”

As a retired Ithaca City Police Chief, former Cayuga Heights Police Chief, and retired Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI in Washington, DC, I am very concerned that this proposal is not a common-sense effort to improve law enforcement in the City of Ithaca. It simply caters to some local activists who hate the police and are intent on destroying a good and well-functioning police department.

My long law enforcement experience with our local law enforcement officers has been very positive and shown daily professionalism with only a rare occasion of a misstep.

A recent increase in acts of violence such as shootings and stabbings in the city should make everyone in the city and county happy that they have a well-functioning police department. It would be extremely dangerous to disrupt this by a social experiment such as proposed…

Some of the local protesters have been shouting very nasty and disturbing language in the face of our officers while the officers have shown great restraint to ignore these nasty and vulgar utterings. I doubt many of our citizens would be able to withstand such terrible actions without losing their temper and that is why our officers should be commended for their restraint.

Here’s what I would like to know. Why is anyone discussing the defunding or abolishment of police when our leaders in Washington are surrounded by fences topped with razor wire and men armed with guns?


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Nothing says disrespect for the police by not even deigning to inform them that you are replacing them with socialist tools.

The LEOs should just quit en masse, and let them find out what the police really do.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Dimsdale. | March 5, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Police officers and their families would be much better off leaving cities. Most big cities do not deserve to have police.

    Since they do not respect or appreciate police, then leave them with that situation, allowing the city to fail. Cities have been in decline for a long time, lets speed up the process.

Will Ithaca voters reconsider their support for this fool? Bueller? Bueller?

    Another Voice in reply to pst314. | March 5, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    The answer is Yes. The City Council may have been upset for also reading it first in GQ, but only because it was not presented to them prior to publication. What is upsetting to them is they would have wanted to be First to go public with it.

    Having moved out of the greater Ithaca area years ago and been subject to government in and around the Greater Ithaca area for similar reasons. A goodly number of Cornell Professors live in the city amidst C.U. on the north to east sides as did Prof. J. before relocating back to R.I. Probably for the same reason.You may work there, but it’s not where I want to live and pay taxes.

“The police are not happy. Some of them are already seeking work elsewhere.”

The mayor is the one who should be seeking work elsewhere.

Hope Mayor Nayor doesn’t expect body guards or armed assistants, lol, let’s watch this one and pray the officers find better jobs.

I think this Myrick fellow should be downsized instead of the police.

Voting for idiots can sometimes backfire.

Taiwanese Lady | March 5, 2021 at 8:14 pm

“Myrick discussed this with GQ Magazine before he ever even mentioned the idea to the Ithaca Police”

It’s like a celeb finding out that you’re being divorced when reading Variety.

This reminds of the scene in Strangelove when the Russian ambassador de Sadesky reveals that he learned of the Pentagon’s secret plan to build its own doomsday machine.

This conversation happens between Russian Ambassador de Sadesky and U.S. President Muffley regarding the soviet doomsday machine:

Ambassador de Sadesky: The deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.

President Muffley: This is preposterous! I never approved of anything like that!

Ambassador de Sadesky: Our source was The New York Times.*

*See, even the Russkies knew that the NYT has always been an enemy of the founding principles of America.

    Another Voice in reply to Taiwanese Lady. | March 5, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    A very good intuitive take! What better place to “do a job search” He should be relocating to the west coast by year end with many offers.

Subotai Bahadur | March 5, 2021 at 8:27 pm

Speaking as a retired Peace Officer with 28 years of experience on the job, two thoughts. First, Social Workers just out of school are too out of touch with reality to do the job unless they have been cops before. Second, if you are a cop in Ithaca, New York it is time to get the [expletive deleted] out of there. Even granting the possible loss of retirement credit, it is time to not be there. The ship is holed below the waterline and capsizing. Every nearby town, city, and county should be flooded with police job applications. And other states as individual officers’ circumstances allow.

Bail out now!

Subotai Bahadur

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | March 5, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Yes! As a fellow retired cop (25 years) I proclaim your advice as sound. The citizens think the mayor s**ts ice cream, as the saying goes, so there will be no change at the top, at least not in time to torpedo this plan. There is plenty of grass, just as green, if not greener elsewhere, so the first to bail out will get the better replacement jobs.

    As said earlier, let the citizens learn what it is they voted for and what the cops do quietly every day. And they are hamstrung by NYs gun laws so they are unable to adequately defend themselves.

George_Kaplan | March 5, 2021 at 8:49 pm

How about making disrespect for the police legally the same as disrespect for judges? If telling a judge to go XYZ yourself gets you time behind bars then activists telling police to go XYZ yourself should get a taxpayer funded holiday too. And if police wear cameras, as many do, then there won’t be any dispute over whether the scum in question are breaking the law or not.

What gave this mayor that authority?

Those who can’t do, teach.
Those who can’t teach, teach gym.
Those who can’t teach gym, go into politics.

How DUMB are the people of Ithica to elect a moron like this?

    You do realize that Ithaca is a college town, don’t you?

      Albigensian in reply to gibbie. | March 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      I always thought of it as more “A college with a town” (Actually two colleges) more than “a town with a college.”

      artichoke in reply to gibbie. | March 7, 2021 at 8:52 am

      Recently the Student Assembly at the larger of the local colleges voted (after very aggressive parliamentary maneuvering to ensure the majority) to disarm the Cornell University Police Department. Fortunately the SA lacks that authority.

      So it’s all about disarming police in and around Ithaca. The baddies are planning a takeover? What’s the hurry?

I hope once the police department is shut down the very first house violent criminals attack is the mayors. And I do hope it’s violent.
Lie down with the dogs and all.

“Myrick is playing with fire.”

No he’s not. He is providing aid and comfort with criminals. Not every LEO is pure as the driven snow, but the vast majority are good, honest, dedicated public servants.

Look at the battlefield and not just the individual battles.

The violence that will results from no local cops will “require” the establishment of a “Waffen SS.” They will enforce order like you see in Hong Kong and you saw in Germany in the 30s. They will have no problem with assassinations like we saw in DC (Ashli Babbitt) by the Capitol Police. The SS emerged from Antifa so this has been done before.

No local cops (who cannot be trusted by totalitarians) is the plan and the solution is ready. Who do you think will “apply” for the open positions and who will be hired? The left-wing cities are the beachhead. They want the local cops to leave as their replacements are ready.

Katy L. Stamper | March 6, 2021 at 6:44 pm

The man looks like a foreigner.

Is he?

It would explain a lot.

Oopsie, it was an unintended mistake. Anyone could accidentally talk to GQ magazine first about us annihilating the police department, instead of the police department and police leadership. Come on, not a big deal!

The Mayor said something about no cops losing their jobs. So if it’s going to half armed and half unarmed, it probably means half the cops will be converted into unarmed pretend-cops who will be expected to go into real situations, although not the most dangerous ones.

And the cops who keep their guns will have a constant string of the worst calls. All cops will be in more danger.

Will the uniforms even be different so the locals will know if the people who came aren’t real cops and can’t really defend themselves?