ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis announced today who the next Acting Chief of the Ithaca Police Department will be.

In a press release sent out today, Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis announced the appointment of Lieutenant Ted Schwartz as the Acting Chief of the Ithaca Police Department. The appointment went into effect immediately and is expected to last through the conclusion of the search for a permanent Police Chief.

According to the press release the firm contracted by the City posted the official recruitment announcement for the permanent position this week, however, the city announced on March 7th, that Public Sector Search & Consulting had been secured for the recruitment process. On March 8th, Public Sector Search & Consulting acknowledged that the City of Ithaca had hired them at a cost of $45,000 plus expenses, and the timeframe for completion was 90-120 days. At the time PSSC website stated “Coming Soon” for the Ithaca Police Chief position.

Public Sector Search & Consulting (PSSC) understands the police chief search in Ithaca will be a challenging search. We believe in an open and transparent process.  We are facilitating meetings with community members and police department employees so they can provide insight regarding the qualities and characteristics sought in the next Chief of Police


The city has still yet to produce documents that were submitted via FOIL requests on March 9th, for documentation surrounding the cancelation of the Civil Service Exam for the position. These requests consist of the Civil Service List for the position that was established previously, along with the list of applicants to take the Civil Service Exam for the position that was scheduled to occur on March 25th, however, was not administered due to the city canceling the exam.

Narrative of FOIL request filed with the City of Ithaca on 3/9/23 after no response from email.

In December Mayor Lewis announced that previous Acting Chief John Joly would be the next permanent Police Chief for the City of Ithaca, a position that she withdrew days later after suspected pressure from Common Council members. This decision along with the alleged actions and statements of Council members has prompted a lawsuit from Joly who has taken an indefinite leave of absence. The Notice of Claim from this can be viewed at this link or lower in this story.

“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,”

Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis

“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.”

“I look forward to leading the department in this critical time of need, and offering stability until a permanent chief is selected,”

Acting Ithaca Police Chief Ted Schwartz

“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.”

A native of Ithaca, Acting Chief Schwartz was hired by the Ithaca Police Department in 2011. As
As Operations Sergeant, he oversaw the training division for IPD, K9 Program, Fleet, and Special Event Details. He was then promoted to Lieutenant and supervised the midnight Patrol Platoon until he was re-assigned to Lieutenant of Investigations in March 2020.