ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester has released the personnel file of Sgt. Melvin Williams.
Williams was named a person of interest in a homicide investigation earlier this month on Wetmore Park in Rochester, according to New York State Police.
Authorities said 35-year-old Janet Jordan was found dead from a gunshot wound inside a Wetmore Park residence on March 14. Williams was then identified as a person of interest in the investigation.
Later that day, Williams was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a vehicle at Veterans Memorial Park in Henrietta.
Officials said Mayor Malik Evans’ office contacted state police shortly before 8 a.m. that morning about a potential homicide involving a city employee at a residence on Wetmore Park.
Last week, the New York State Attorney General’s Office announced its investigation into the homicide. Details regarding the homicide remain limited at this time.
Williams was a 14-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department. According to his personnel file, released by city officials Wednesday, he is not currently listed in the RPD disciplinary database, with no disciplinary records on file.
Williams’ record shows he was the recipient of multiple police awards and honors while serving, including:
- Excellent Police Service Award, June 2009
- Chief’s Letter of Recognition, November 2013
- Chief’s letter of Recognition, August 2018
- Officer of the Month, June 2020
- Unit Commendation Award, December 2020
Performance evaluations included in the personnel file say Williams was good at communicating with residents while on duty with relatively minor critiques regarding clerical work like occasional misspellings on police reports or use of incorrect codes in response efforts.
In available performance evaluations dating back to 2008, Williams never received a mark below the “acceptable level” in any of the 31 criteria categories — including appearance, attitude, knowledge, performance, and relationships. He often received marks above the acceptable level and also received “superior” review ratings dozens of times throughout his tenure, according to the file.
An excerpt from the 2013 performance evaluation, conducted by Sgt. Jon Rivers, said:
“Officer Williams has superior relationships with the community he serves. He has a military background as an Army Ranger and grew up in the City of Rochester and the area he patrols. Williams is very much at ease when speaking to citizens and has attended community meetings with me. He is able to resolve disputes by offering solutions and talking with citizens in a very calm tone of voice. I have observed Officer Williams on numerous occasions take control during verbal disputes and quickly establishing a good rapport with people. He is very fair in his duties and exercises his discretion in a manner consisting with the department’s philosophy of policing in the spirit of service.”
Chief’s Office Personnel File
Friends of Jordan — the homicide victim who worked as a 911 dispatcher for the City of Rochester for 11 years — remember her as a kind, loving, and caring person.
Jordan’s friend Tony Simmons said she did not deserve to be killed. In addition to working as a dispatcher, she was also an instructor in the city’s Pathways to Public Safety Program. Simmons described her as a kind soul.
“She had a very beautiful smile; she had a twinkle in her eye. She was like an angel, she was just so sweet and so nice and it’s just tragic what happened to her, I am so saddened by this,” Simmons said.
Simmons hosts R&B Wednesdays at The French Quarter, a weekly get-together. He says Jordan was a frequent visitor.
“Janet was one of the faithful members that came with a bunch of friends every week. They always reserved a table, they always bought food and drinks and they enjoyed themselves every week,” Simmons said.
Simmons said Jordan was a sweet spirit that lit up every room she walked into. He remembers an incident at one of his events that Jordan stepped in to help, and ended up saving a life.
“There was an incident that took place a few months ago where a young lady had a seizure at the event and Janet was the one that actually brought her back. The lady passed out. Like stopped breathing and everything and Janet gave her CPR and mouth-to-mouth and brought that lady back until the EMTs came. That’s the one thing I will remember most about her,” Simmons said.
Officials from the New York Attorney General’s Office have not immediately replied to a request for comment.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.