Mayor Laura Lewis announced on Tuesday that Lt. Ted Schwartz has been appointed to serve as acting chief of the Ithaca Police Department, while the ongoing controversial search for a permanent police chief continues.
According to the announcement released Tuesday afternoon, Schwartz will resume the role of acting police chief effective immediately. The appointment is expected to last until a new police chief is found, and the company in charge of the recruitment of a permanent police chief is set to release an announcement for the permanent position later this week.
Schwartz is a native Ithacan who has worked for the police department since 2011. He first started his work as an operations sergeant, overseeing training divisions for the IPD, K9 Program, Fleet and special events. He was later promoted to his now-former post as Lieutenant, supervising investigations since March 2020.
“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 press 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.”
The move comes after former Acting Police Chief John Joly stepped down two weeks ago due to allegations of a “hostile work environment.” Joly is pressing charges against the City of Ithaca over these allegations. Lewis has yet to respond to Joly’s allegations.
The City of Ithaca has not had a permanent police chief in two years since Chief Dennis Nayor retired in May 2021. Lewis intended to appoint Joly to the position in December 2022, but failed to gain support from common council members for his appointment. The latest incentive to recruit a police chief was a pay increase offer approved at last Wednesday’s common council meeting.
“I look forward to leading the department in this critical time of need, and offering stability until a permanent chief is selected,” Schwartz said in the press statement. “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 officer positions in partnership with the City Administration.”