November 25, 2008

Ithaca Chooses New Police Chief

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Edward Vallely was officially named the new police chief of the Ithaca Police Department last night after the Common Council’s unanimous vote confirmed the mayor’s appointment. Vallely, who is the current acting police chief, will oversee a $10 million budget and more than 100 employees, according to the Ithaca Journal.
The selection process began last October after Police Chief Lauren Signer unexpectedly announced her retirement. A search committee — which included Common Council members and representatives from the Community Police Board — then submitted a list of finalists to Mayor Carolyn Peterson. The two finalists for the job, Vallely and Deputy Police Chief John Barber, were internal candidates.
Vallely, an Ithaca High School graduate, has lived in Tompkins County his whole life. After more than three decades, he was able to name the exact date he joined the police force. Apart from 18 years of service in the investigation division, Vallely has worked in various units, including the juvenile division, where he experienced some of the most unforgettable cases.
“Helping the people who are least able to help themselves — that’s when I find the greatest sense of personal accomplishment,” said Vallely, who felt “fantastic and excited” about his promotion.
One of Vallely’s major goals is to continue the reformation of the records system, which he proposed about a year ago. With the help of technology, the police department was able to provide more efficient service to citizens and the media alike.
“We have made some real strides, going from a paper-based records system to a computer-based system,” Vallely said.
While he was unwilling to name a weakness of the department, he emphasized that the strength of the police department lies in the quality of its members.
“[The strength] is definitely the extremely high-quality of our people,” Vallely said.