ITHACA, N.Y.—Common Council is moving to create a crime analyst position in the Ithaca Police Department.

Funding was set aside for the position in the City of Ithaca’s 2023 budget via an amendment proposed by Alderperson Robert Cantelmo.

Council began taking further steps to formally create the position Wednesday when its City Administration Committee unanimously approved a resolution to amend the police department’s personnel roster. 

Ithaca Police Department’s Acting Chief Ted Schwartz said that “numerous other parallel projects” have delayed the crime analyst position from being created sooner. Schwartz stepped in as Acting Chief in May to lead the police department, which has been struggling under short staffing. 

A primary goal of creating the crime analyst position is to improve the police department’s efficiency, Schwartz said. He said the police department’s current process for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating data relies on tasking individual officers, investigators, or supervisors for each investigation. An analyst would specialize that process, supporting police in their investigations. 

The analyst would also be responsible for calculating statistics and figures to be presented to city officials, the media, and the public, according to Schwartz.

He said, “This position is going to help with our efficiency, be more data driven, and have more data driven policing and evidence based policing.”

Under the resolution passed by the City Administration Committee last week, the crime analyst position would be assigned to the city’s administrative unit, which is represented by the Civil Service Employees Association labor union. The City of Ithaca’s Human Resources Department confirmed the crime analyst, a 40-hour per week position, would receive a starting salary of $53,780 in 2024 under the city’s current labor contract with the administrative unit.

The City of Ithaca contributes funds for a data analyst housed at the Community Justice Center (CJC), a collaborative department between the city and Tompkins County. The CJC was established in 2021 for the purpose of implementing the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County’s shared law enforcement reforms under the Reimagining Public Safety plan.

Under the city and county contract, the CJC’s data analyst is salaried at $69,285, half of which the city pays.

Schwartz said that there “might be some overlap” in work performed by the Ithaca Police Department’s crime analyst and the CJC’s data analyst, but he noted that the department’s analyst will be a city resource whose work will concern “confidential information,” such as criminal investigations. 

The creation of the position will depend on a vote of the full council, which is scheduled to meet on Oct. 4. 

Jimmy Jordan is Senior Reporter for The Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn