ITHACA, N.Y.—The Ithaca Police Department has found its next leader, albeit temporarily. Lieutenant Ted Schwartz was appointed to lead the department as acting chief as the city pursues a nationwide search for its permanent police chief.

Schwartz, who is from Ithaca, has worked for IPD since 2011, ascending to the rank of lieutenant in the time since. He oversaw the midnight patrol platoon and was reassigned to the investigations department in March 2020, according to the city’s release.

“I look forward to leading the department in this critical time of need, and offering stability until a permanent chief is selected,” Schwartz said, indicating he will not be applying to be the permanent chief of the department. “In the interim, I will be examining different avenues to support the great officers currently at IPD as well as continuing our ongoing recruitment of the best candidates for our vacant police officers positions in partnership with the City Administration.”

The announcement was made by Mayor Laura Lewis Tuesday evening. It comes two weeks after former Acting Chief John Joly confirmed to The Ithaca Voice that he was taking an indefinite personal leave from the job and filing a lawsuit against the city over allegations of a hostile work environment, likely stemming in part from his botched appointment to permanent chief in December. Joly had been acting chief for nearly two years upon his leave announcement.

“Lt. Schwartz’s long and distinguished service with the IPD ideally situates him to fill this role, and I am deeply grateful to him for doing so,” Lewis said in a statement. “This appointment is a crucial and concrete step towards maintaining IPD’s operational integrity and the safety of the public that will allow for a smooth transition to a permanent chief.”

Public Sector Search and Consulting, the firm that is leading the IPD police chief search, has officially posted the job on its website for recruitment. The city of Ithaca also recently announced a potential raise for the Police Chief position, from a ceiling of $132,000 to $150,000 with a $50,000 signing bonus over three years. The move was made at the behest of Public Sector Search and Consulting, which said it would be difficult to attract a suitable candidate otherwise.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at