ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Fresh insight from Rochester Police into a partnership announced by the City between the police department and the United Christian Leadership Ministry (UCLM). This comes following criticism from the Rochester Police Locust Club, claiming they were never included in any conversations.

Lt. Greg Bello with Rochester Police says UCLM had been an early advocate of the department obtaining body-worn-cameras (BWC), with the partnership in place since it rolled out in 2017.

“We meet quarterly with them about background information, administration of the program, so ensuring that the policies and procedures – meeting with them about the policies and procedures related to the BWC and a) how they’re working, b) that we’re sticking to those policies and procedures and then c) how we could improve those procedures as well,” says Lt. Bello.

“We want to be able to be full cognizant of what is taking place, when it took place, why it took place. And by having the actual information from the body worn cameras we get a lot of answers that have nothing to do with the person’s verbal communication,” says Dr. Dwight Fowler with UCLM & Bishop of Kingdom Dominion Covenant Ministry Fellowship.

Along with quarterly meetings, the Memorandum of Understanding states this partnership will also enroll designated members within the UCLM in a citizen-focused training program on police procedures and the use of body-worn-cameras, something RPD says is one of several programs they offer for the general public. It also states there will be expedited responses to FOIL requests, defined to be within 10 days. RPD claims this is standard for any private citizen as well.

“In the previous Memorandum of Agreement it was a 5 day window and now it’s been expanded to a 10 day window. So any time somebody files a FOIL request for video or anything along those lines, they’re filled as expoditiously as possible. So there’s not going to be any preferential treatment – if somethig’s not able to be released via FOIL for inestigative purposes, or whatever it may be, it’s not going to be released to any specific group, or anything along those lines,” Lt. Bello explains.

UCLM will be holding a public info session on Saturday, January 14th at First Church of God (located at 334 Clarissa Street) at 10:00 a.m. featuring a presentation from RPD’s Deputy Chief of Police on body camera practices.

RPD’s Body Worn Camera Program information can be found here: https://www.cityofrochester.gov/RPDBodyWornCamera/

The Body Worn Camera manual can be found here: file:///C:/Users/IsaGarcia/Downloads/BWC%20Manual%204_10_1018.PDF