Shortly after Jesse Abbott found he was chosen for the city’s community oriented police officer position, he learned he’d also receive his own office, centrally located on Main Street.
Besides having a satellite office away from the city police department, there was another reason to place Abbott on the street he watches over. “The main goal is to build a stronger relationship with the police department and the community,” Abbott said.
Abbott also wants to build trust with people in the community so they come into his office and talk with him, he said. It’s still early for people to come in, though — not many know where he is at the building at 67 Main St. owned by McNeil and Co.
“I still think people don’t know they can come in and talk,” Abbott said.
Police Chief F. Michael Catalano said the goal from the beginning when creating the position was to have an officer on Main Street.
Abbott’s office now offers availability and accessibility, Catalano said.
Catalano said there was no cost to the department to build the office. Instead McNeil and Co. prepared the space and donated it.
Before being at 67 Main St., Abbott bounced back and forth between 9 Main St. and the city police station. In May, he was stationed entirely at the police station.
Abbott is still settling in, a month after moving into the office.
Abbott’s office is outfitted with a small cabinet locker, which holds his rain jacket, a cabinet with locking drawers to house paper work and a desk, that with the push of a button rises from sitting to standing.
All that’s left is to get a computer and a door. Maybe even a mini fridge, Abbott joked.
Last week, he received a painting, commissioned by Abbott’s wife, Melissa, and painted by Cortland artist Bryan Bancroft, replicating “The Runaway” by Norman Rockwell. The 3- by 4-foot oil painting will hang behind Abbott’s desk.
On the wall next to his desk hangs an assortment of police patches, each with a special meaning. One patch is from the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office where Abbott’s father, Scott Abbott, served. Another was from Philadelphia — Abbott’s grandfather, Llewellyn Hall, served there. Other patches included ones from Florida, Cape May, New Jersey, and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Abbott’s office also creates a warm place people can come into and talk, he said. “At the police department you bring people into the basement of City Hall,” Abbott said. “It’s not the type of environment to just sit down and talk in.”
People can now make an appointment, by Facebook or phone, and just come in to talk, Abbott said. Topics can range anywhere from drug issues to neighbor issues and even day-to-day issues, he said. “I don’t want people to forget I’m also Jesse Abbott the person outside the uniform.”