The Candidate Who Keeps His Promises


May we count on you?

May we place a Sheriff Meskill lawn sign in your front yard or on your corner? Can you help the campaign with a monetary contribution or by writing a letter to the editor? Please e-mail or download our “I want to help!” form! Contributions may be made payable to the Committee to Re-elect Sheriff Meskill, and mailed to the Committee to Re-elect Sheriff Meskill, P.O. Box 103, Ithaca, New York 14851. (Please note that political contributions are not tax deductible for Federal income tax purposes.)

Who supports Peter Meskill for Sheriff?

Dozens of folks from around Tompkins County, plus lots of present and former local and state office-holders, have invited us to let you know they stand behind the re-election of Peter Meskill! Who’s on the list? Many of your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and representatives. [Read More...]

See for yourself!

The League of Women Voters of Tompkins County hosted a Candidates Forum on Thursday, October 26th, to let voters hear from the candidates for Tompkins County Sheriff. If you weren’t able to meet the candidates yourself that night, or watch the discussions, you can tune in to watch on Time Warner Cable Channel 13. The Candidates Forum will be broadcast on Wednesday, November 1st at 1:30pm, Thursday, November 2nd at 9:00am, and Saturday, November 4th at 8:30pm.

The Ithaca Journal: Meskill promises to tackle recidivism

“Tompkins County Sheriff Peter Meskill promised Friday to tackle the problem of recidivism among inmates released from the Tompkins County Jail.” [Read More...]

Peter Meskill for Sheriff television commercial

Watch the television ad for Peter Meskill for Sheriff, and spread the word! [Watch Now...]

A letter from Derek R. Osborne, TCSD Senior Investigator

As the highest ranking civil service member of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol Division, I would like to encourage the re-election of Sheriff Meskill. Several of our current members, including myself, transferred to this department from outside agencies under the leadership of Sheriff Meskill. I opted to transfer due to the good things I heard coming from members of the Sheriff’s Office. [Read More...]

A letter from Tom Niederkorn, Campaign Treasurer

The last eight years have seen wonderful changes in the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office. When Peter Meskill first ran for Sheriff in 1998 budget overruns were rampant, morale of the sworn officers and civilian staff was low, and we frequently boarded inmates to other counties without using our own jail to capacity. Peter has changed all that and it’s hard to remember what sorry shape the department was in back then. [Read More...]

A letter from Pat Pryor

A recent letter-writer indicated that Sheriff Meskill revoked the deputization of village police officers, making them unavailable for “closest car” responses in an emergency. The truth is, both the County Attorney and the State Sheriff’s Association have concluded that a local sheriff does not have the authority to issue a blanket deputization, much less revoke one. [Read More...]

Sheriff Meskill’s Campaign Announcement

In 1998 I stood on these very steps and declared my candidacy for Sheriff of Tompkins County. I outlined six major areas of concern and issues that needed serious attention to insure that law enforcement in Tompkins County was delivered in a professional and cost effective manner. I am grateful to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, who have worked hard and performed well to address those issues, providing a very high level of professional law enforcement and doing it with the resources the legislature provides. [Read More...]

What has Sheriff Meskill accomplished?


  • Eliminated budget overruns costing taxpayers as much as $1.0 million a year. Despite an increase in caseload from 10,800 calls for service in 2000 to over 12,000 in 2005, there have been no budget overruns since taking office eight years ago.
  • Eliminated the wasteful practice of boarding out inmates while we have capacity in our own jail. We always search out the least expensive options available when boarding out necessary.


  • Put policies and procedures in place for operations and training to ensure effective and professional law enforcement.
  • Established an ongoing evaluation system of department programs and policies based on statewide standards of excellence.
  • Strengthened the public safety system through mutual aid agreements and collaboration with other agencies on programs such as DWI enforcement and child safety seat inspections.

Quality of Life

  • Instilled a department-wide respect for the importance of enforcing traffic laws and apprehending DWI offenders with a goal of reducing injuries and death on our highways and creating a better place for residents to live and work.
  • Sponsored seminars and education programs for numerous community groups and special populations to increase awareness and promote public safety.

Paid for by Committee to Re-Elect Sheriff Meskill, Tom Niederkorn, Treasurer

Burglaries Down Across Tompkins County

Sheriff’s Office targets neighborhoods and neighbors to keep watch

By Raymond Drumsta August 4, 2010, 8:35 pm

ITHACA — Neighborhood watches and targeted patrolling have led to a sharp decline in burglaries this year, according to Tompkins County sheriff’s officials. There were only 14 burglaries in Tompkins County from January to June this year, compared to 46 in the same period last year, according to Capt. Derek Osborne of the sheriff’s office. This decline occurred during an economic downturn, which is usually a time of increased property crimes, he added.

The sheriff’s office began a new approach toward burglaries after determining that residential burglaries were the highest reported serious crime in their jurisdiction, Osborne said.

“Historically, burglaries were reactively responded to rather that taking a more pro-active approach,” he said.

Though the sheriff’s office jurisdiction is relatively rural, officials decided on a policing method, often used by larger agencies, which utilizes community involvement and targeted patrolling, he added.

“This is often referred to as the ‘broken windows theory,’” Osborne explained, “meaning that if you target the small quality-of-life issues, a reduction in larger problems will follow.”

A similar approach was used in traffic enforcement, he added, identifying roadways with higher incidents of deaths and injuries, then cracking down on speeding and other violations in those areas.

The neighborhood watches grew out of citizens’ queries about burglaries, he said. Sometimes when information about an incident was repeated and circulated, people began to think that one incident was actually several incidents, he added.

“It became apparent that communication needed to be provided to keep people better informed about immediate concerns affecting them,” he said. “Without such communication, rumors often develop, and people become nervous.”

They held community meetings for the Whispering Pines and East King Roads neighborhoods late last year after noticing a spike in burglaries in those areas, Osborne said. Many people attended the Whispering Pines meeting, and he and Sgt. Dan Donahue gave a presentation on burglary patterns, modus operandi and burglary prevention tips, he added.

“Someone from the group volunteered to be the group spokesperson and maintain an e-mail list-serve for neighbors,” he said. “When an incident or problem comes to the attention of the sheriff’s office, I e-mail the information to the spokesperson, who in turn forwards it to everyone else. So far, this system seems to be working well.”The neighborhood watch began reporting suspicious activities, and deputies were given up-to-date information on burglaries so they could patrol those areas more heavily, Osborne said.

Burglaries are down, and just as important, they successfully engaged the citizens in the affected areas, said Sheriff Peter Meskill.

“By organizing them and using them as our eyes and ears, we’re able to respond more quickly,” he said. “It’s how police work should be done. We’re trying to help start more neighborhood watches because they make a true difference in reducing and deterring crime.”

“Anyone who wants to start a neighborhood watch should contact me,” Osborne said. The sheriff’s office will use the Whispering Pines neighborhood watch as a model, and they’re willing to give presentations or help out with it in other ways, he added.

Those in interested in starting neighborhood watches should contact Meskill or Osborne at (607) 257-1345.

Tompkins County Sheriff’s office receives child passenger safety grant

August 18, 2010, 8:25 am

Sheriff Peter Meskill has announce that the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for $8,500 to participate in the statewide “Child Passenger Safety Program.”

The grant provides money to purchase child safety seats to replace old seats and provide seats to Tompkins County residents that cannot afford them. The grant also pays to train Sheriff’s deputies so the deputies can show caregivers how to properly install car seats to provide the maximum safety for children riding in cars.

The Sheriff’s Office routinely schedules monthly child safety seat inspections. If you need to have your child safety seat checked, be shown how to properly use or install a seat, and/or are need of a new seat contact the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office at 257-1345 to schedule an appointment