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Rochester Police Department Rochester Police Department September 2nd, 2011 h li Rochester Police Department Emily Good Review Emily Good Review Chief of Police James M. Sheppard Public Safety – Community Engagement – Morale – Teamwork – Leadership Development Rochester Police Department Office of the Chief James M. Sheppard Media Release For Immediate Release: Friday, September 02, 2011 Chief Sheppard Announces Outcome of Internal Administrative Reviews on Emily Good Arrest, Traffic Enforcement Operation Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard announced the completion of two internal administrative reviews related to the arrest of a woman who videotaped police officers and a series of training, policy and communications measures have been initiated within the Rochester Police Department (RPD) as a result. Two separate reviews were conducted regarding the May 12 arrest of Emily Good of Rochester, who was charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree (OGA 2nd). The charge was subsequently dismissed by the Rochester City Court upon request of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office with the concurrence of the RPD. The first administrative review focused on the details of that arrest. It revealed that the initial car stop was proper, but that Ms. Good should not have been charged with OGA 2nd based on her conduct. Accordingly, RPD immediately initiated additional departmental training with regard to the legal requirements to support a charge of OGA 2nd. “The officer in question made a good, proactive traffic stop and at all times displayed a demeanor that was professional and courteous,” Chief Sheppard said. “However, he should have dealt with his safety concerns in a different manner. This is a training issue that we are working now to resolve.” While OGA 2nd is addressed during legal training in the Basic Academy, the RPD has issued two training bulletins outlining the legal requirements for an OGA 2nd charge, and providing procedural guidance for similar situations. RPD will continue to address this topic in supervisory and in‐service training programs. ‐more‐ For more information or media requests please contact the Rochester Police Department Officer Patrick M. Piano at 585‐428‐6495. Responsive – Aggressive – Preventive – Proactive Rochester Police Department Office of the Chief James M. Sheppard Media Release Chief Sheppard Announces Outcome of Internal Administrative Reviews on Emily Good Arrest, Traffic Enforcement Operation, page 2 of 2 Several internal RPD policies are also being updated to provide additional guidance to officers facing similar situations. The Chief also addressed the arrest in the July RPD Newsletter, in which he outlined his expectations for protecting the First Amendment rights of citizens. The RPD has also initiated an internal review of all OGA 2nd arrests during the year of 2010 to determine if any additional training or policy measures are needed. The second administrative review focused on a parking enforcement operation that occurred on June 23 in the immediate vicinity of 285 Clarissa St., where a group of Emily Good’s supporters had gathered. Several tickets were issued, including some for parking more than 12 inches from the curb. Chief Sheppard determined that none of these tickets should have been issued, and has ordered that they be voided. “While these tickets meet the letter of the law, they are inconsistent with my philosophy of policing with a spirit of service while being responsive, aggressive, proactive and preventive,” Chief Sheppard said. “As such, I have determined this operation reflected a failure of leadership in the Rochester Police Department that ultimately is my responsibility. Accordingly, I have taken additional steps to make certain that my philosophy is adequately communicated and understood by every member of the Department, to ensure that an incident such as this does not happen again.” Those steps include a Departmental E‐mail from the Chief on June 27 and the letter from the Chief to RPD employees in the Department’s July Newsletter. Chief Sheppard has also ordered all RPD officers to review the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and has directed that posters depicting the Code be prominently displayed in all RPD facilities, including the Public Safety Building and the Patrol Division offices. ‐end‐ For more information or media requests please contact the Rochester Police Department Officer Patrick M. Piano at 585‐428‐6495. Responsive – Aggressive – Preventive – Proactive CODE OF ETHICS AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all persons to liberty, equality and justice. I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided in me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities. I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession… law enforcement. PUBLIC SAFETY • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT • MORALE • TEAMWORK • LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Rochester Police Department Office of the Chief James M. Sheppard From: Sheppard, James Sent: Monday, June 27, 2011 1:54 PM To: Police Department Subject: Spirit of Service Ladies and Gentlemen, I understand the Court’s decision to dismiss the criminal charges against Ms. Emily Good. Whatever the specific circumstances that led to Ms. Good’s arrest, I see no purpose in pursuing the criminal charges. I strongly believe that the traffic stop that precipitated Ms. Good’s arrest is consistent with my emphasis on assertive, proactive policing, and I support the involved officers’ initiative; our self‐initiated activity is what keeps the citizens of Rochester safe. I also appreciate Officers Masic’s professional demeanor demonstrated throughout the encounter. As police officers we often cope with high levels of stress while performing dangerous duties, and we must rely on our training and experience to guide our behavior. As routine as a traffic stop may appear, it has proven over time to be a potentially dangerous activity for us. Nonetheless, we must conduct ourselves with appropriate respect for the rights of those involved, as well as the rights of those observing our actions. Relative to the subsequent ticketing for parking violations of vehicles belonging to members of an organization associated with Ms. Good, while it may be consistent with the letter of the law, I want to make it abundantly clear that it is inconsistent with my philosophy of Policing with a Spirit of Service. We must work together to learn from these events as we move forward. Chief James M. Sheppard "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." Ralph Waldo Emerson Responsive – Aggressive – Preventive – Proactive RPD EWS NEWS July 2011 CHIEF’S MESSAGE I want to take this opportunity to talk about the events surrounding the recent arrest of a woman who was video-recording a trafﬁc stop. As I have repeatedly said, I strongly believe that the trafﬁc stop that precipitated the arrest is consistent with my emphasis on assertive, proactive policing, and I support the involved ofﬁcers’ initiative. Our self- initiated activity is what keeps the citizens of Rochester safe. I understand the legitimate safety concerns we face in making trafﬁc stops, and I expect RPD ofﬁcers to take lawful and reasonable steps to protect themselves in conducting all police activity. In this particular case, it is clear that the community and media attention has been focused on the fact that the individual arrested was video-recording the trafﬁc stop, so I want to comment on that. You should be aware that bystanders regularly observe police activity. Also, many cameras are located on the streets and in other locations that are regularly recording your actions and many persons also have readily available hand-held or easily concealable recording devices that they may use to record police activities. In fact, you should assume that someone is watching and recording your actions at all times. The First Amendment generally protects the right of persons to peacefully observe, photograph, video-record, or audio- record the activities of law enforcement personnel while performing their duties in a public location. You should not interfere with such activities, and you should continue to perform your duties in a professional manner. However, there is no right to engage in conduct that endangers or threatens the safety of ofﬁcers or other persons, including making verbal threats or conduct that obstructs, impairs, prevents or attempts to prevent the performance of ofﬁcial actions by means of intimidation, physical force or interference. It is imperative that you use good judgment in deciding whether a bystander is crossing the line between lawful and protected activity, and conduct that actually threatens or obstructs you in the performance of your duties. We must apply our discretion wisely in these situations in order to preserve our safety in potentially dangerous situations, while acting with respect for the rights of all persons. RPD ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF POLICE ACTIVITIES LEAGUE The Rochester Police Department announced its newly-formed Police Activities League (PAL) by presenting its ﬁrst softball game featuring RPD ofﬁcers and CTC (Changing the Community) youth at Frontier Field on July 16. The four-inning game took place immediately before the start of the Red Wings-Buffalo Bison baseball game. Above, RPD ofﬁcers and CTC members posed for a photo at a press conference held July 14. More details on PAL will be upcoming in the August newsletter.
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