Derek Osborne. (Provided Photo)

ITHACA, N.Y.—Sheriff Derek Osborne announced his reelection campaign for Nov. 2022 in a press release Jan. 10.

In his announcement, Osborne said he focused his first term on community engagement and trust building, training, operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility and diversity.

Osborne lists his first term accomplishments as: the creation of a Professional Standards Unit, removal of “ghost” lettering and blacked out patrol vehicles, implementation of new uniforms that were less military-like, inclusion of policies with accredited standards including equitable policing, interactions with transgender and gender nonconforming persons, enhanced body-cam programming to include cameras in police vehicles, the implementation of the first Bicycle Patrol program and more strict hiring practices as well as background investigations prior to hiring, and in 2022, the Sheriff’s Office will complete and obtain New York State Accreditation for its Road Patrol division.

During a time of widespread scrutiny on police officers and their conduct, Osborne’s force has largely flown under the radar. He introduced a misconduct policy based on peer intervention among police officers in June 2020 in the wake of the worldwide protests centered on police brutality. Perhaps the most significant episode of his tenure so far is the manhunt from Nov. 2021, which raised questions about Osborne’s decision-making and tactics, though he defended his strategy at the time.

During his run in 2018, Osborne announced that SUNY Cortland police lieutenant Jennifer Olin would become undersheriff, making her the first female undersheriff in Tompkins County’s history. Osborne unseated previous incumbent Ken Lansing, his former boss on the sheriff’s force.

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...