Rochester Police Accountability board releases reform recommendations | WHEC.com

Rochester Police Accountability board releases reform recommendations

Rochester Police Accountability board releases reform recommendations Photo: Police Accountability Board.

WHECTV
Updated: December 23, 2020 03:55 PM
Created: December 23, 2020 10:26 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester's Police Accountability Board has outlined a list of concerns and recommendations for the city of Rochester and the Rochester Police Department.

In a release Wednesday, the board said it was invited to participate in the City of Rochester’s Working Group on Police Reform & Reinvention, which is an effort started in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order, which requires departments to submit plans for reforms by April 1, 2021.

Among the recommendations outlined by the PAB are:

  • Drastically expand staffing for and use of first responder systems that substitute police officers with social workers and mental health providers.
  • Support a community-led process to educate Rochesterians about how the City’s limited public safety dollars can be spent, learn the spending priorities of city residents, and develop a budget that reflects those priorities in staffing and funding levels.
  • Create trainings and disciplinary policies that end RPD’s use of breathing restrictions like chokeholds, chemical weapons like tear gas, protest response devices like sound cannons and high-risk practices like no-knock warrants.
  • Boost funding for training, prevention and response systems within RPD that address work-related stress and trauma in ways that shield officers, their families, and the people they serve.
  • Make policing transparent by collecting and releasing comprehensive data on the RPD’s enforcement patterns, internal culture and policing practices while making public all aspects of officer training.
  • Protect residents and officers by investigating and dismantling structures of white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia that may exist in the RPD’s culture and practices.

A full breakdown can be found here.

Previously, area chiefs told News10NBC they were open to reforms but pointed to recommendations and certifications most local departments follow as part of a state accreditation program. Following the death of Daniel Prude, Mayor Lovely Warren announced a set of policy reforms, including how police handle mental health calls. Right now, plans to release RPD disciplinary records are being challenged by the Rochester Police Locust Club, which is asking for a brief pause on the record release to "review" the information. 

According to the PAB, city residents can submit comments to the board, with a deadline of Jan. 15, 2021. Comments can be sent in via an online form or emailed to pab@cityofrochester.gov.

You can track the city's progress on the executive order here.


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