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Rochester Police Department Rochester WHEC Rochester


									Rochester Police Department
Rochester Police Department

            September 2nd, 2011

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 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 

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 


    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 

“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 
    For more information or media requests please contact the Rochester Police Department                              
                          Officer Patrick M. Piano at 585‐428‐6495. 

                               Responsive – Aggressive – Preventive – Proactive  
    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.

                  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


                     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.


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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