RPD Chief announces 90-day Fact-Finding Plan to address community issues, concerns, priorities

Community

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Police Chief Herriott-Sullivan unveiled a 90-Day Fact Finding Plan Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, Herriott-Sullivan held a press conference to address the plan.

The interim chief was sworn in last month, and wants to work quickly to identify issues within the department, which has been under fire since news of Daniel Prude’s death became public in September.

The purpose of the plan (full document below) is for Chief Herriott-Sullivan to familiarize herself with the RPD operations and critical issues, adding that “community issues, concerns, and priorities also need to be identified and assessed.”

Herriott-Sullivan said she wants to sit down with as many people as possible to talk about the future of the police department.

“You’ve got a number of organizations out there and they have people put in place as their spokes people and staff,” Herriott-Sullivan said. “But you also have people who’ve been out in the community for a while and have earned the respect in the community … they have their finger on the pulse of the things going on and I want to talk to everybody.”

The goals of the plan are listed as follows:

  1. Assess the current leadership needs of the police department and fill
    critical leadership positions.
  2. Identify any critical resource needs.
  3. Identify the top pressing matters facing RPD.
  4. Identify and meet with critical stakeholders in order to establish
    collaborative relationships.
  5. Review departmental policies and procedures and ensure any needed
    updates are initiated.
  6. Determine RPD’s alignment with the 6 Pillars of 21st Century Policing,
    which are law enforcement best practices.
  7. Gather as much information as possible about the community. Identify
    what they need from the RPD.
  8. Establish effective professional relationships with other law enforcement
    officials in the County, as well as public and private districts.

The eight-page document lays out specific timeline goals based on 30-day increments. Upon the completion of the 90-day process, the chief will issue a summary report to Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester City Council to determine the “next steps congruent with our short and long-term goals and objectives.”

The first goal, assess current leadership, the chief said the department has seen leadership challenges.

“If were going to be a full functioning organization that could be there for the public and assist anyway we can, then we need competent leadership at the helm.”

In a statement, City Councilmember Mary Lupien says the Chief’s plan is detailed and commends its focus on the community. She went on to say, “We will need to hold her accountable for including all voices and implementing change.”

Lupien adds the Chief says police are the last line of defense to critical to critical needs of the community, which Lupien says is correct. Adding, “However we need to reallocate finding to the first lines of defense: mental health, housing, jobs and education. Like the goal of non-profits is trying to solve poverty is to work themselves out of a job, as a city, we should be finding the ways to work RPD out of a job.”

At the end of the 90 days, the chief said she hopes the department will be on a better path.

“The goal here is to get the police department set on a focused track for moving forward. We’ve got goals, we’ve got objective things that we’re following that’s going to get us to an end point which at the end of the day will hopefully leave us better than when we initially started.”

RPD is just one of every law enforcement agency in New York state that is undergoing a reevaluation process. As a result of a June executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, every police department in the state must develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs, by April 1, 2021 — or risk losing critical state funding.

Gov. Cuomo said individual departments must formulate a plan addressing the use of force by police offices, crowd management, community policing, implicit bias awareness training, de-escalation training and practices, restorative justice practices, community-based outreach, and have a transparent citizen complain disposition procedure to handle those and other issues raised by the community.

The governor also said there must be community participation

RPD Chief’s 90-Day Fact Finding Plan

Full press conference:

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