The Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management (Public Safety) employs sworn law enforcement personnel deputized as peace officers by the Tompkins County sheriff under New York State Criminal Procedure Law. They are certified law enforcement officers by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, having received their training in the same manner as all other public law enforcement officers in the State of New York. These officers have full peace officer powers on the grounds or premises owned or administered by Ithaca College. They are authorized to investigate violations or suspected violations of law, carry firearms, make arrests, conduct searches, and carry out any other authorized activities of a peace officer in the State of New York. These officers are responsible for patrolling the campus 24 hours a day, year round, in patrol vehicles, on bicycles, and on foot.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tompkins County Sheriff ’s Office, Ithaca College Public Safety peace officers investigate all violations of law that occur on the campus and take action according to current Public Safety department policies and procedures. In addition, the Sheriff ’s Office will be notified and may elect to investigate or assist in the investigation of the following incidents as they occur on the campus: felony sexual assaults, felony assaults, all deaths (accidental, suicides, homicides), and other fatalities.
Uniformed non-sworn security officers licensed by New York State also patrol the campus 24 hours a day, year round. Security officers maintain radio contact with Public Safety communications center and are responsible for reporting violations of law and campus rules and regulations, as well as emergencies. Security officers patrol the residence halls and academic buildings to ensure building security and check fire safety systems. Although they are not police or peace officers and do not have police powers, they work closely with patrol officers in maintaining the safety and security of the College community. In addition to the peace officers and security officers, the security and safety program includes the Student Auxiliary Safety Patrol (SASP).
Public Safety communications center is staffed with professionally trained dispatchers and security officers who answer emergency and non-emergency calls for service, dispatch officers and other emergency services to incidents, monitor intrusion detection and fire alarms, and handle walk-in traffic.
Public Safety maintains a close working relationship with the Tompkins County Sheriff ’s Department, Ithaca Police Department, New York State Police, federal law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice agencies. Regular meetings with these agencies are held on both a formal and an informal basis, and crime- related reports and statistics are routinely shared. In addition to sharing critical information, Public Safety communications center has immediate contact with the Tompkins County 9-1-1 Center. This arrangement gives us immediate access to mutual aid support from the Tompkins County Sheriff ’s Department, Ithaca Police Department, and the New York State Police. Officers from these agencies assist at selected events on the Ithaca College campus.
Ithaca College is proud of its dedicated officers and public safety staff and of the high standards set by Public Safety. An ongoing training program of in-service courses, seminars, weekly staff meetings, and conferences is maintained to ensure that the College’s public safety program remains state of the art.