However well policing is done, there will be complaints. I'm not sure what the role of the civilian review board is - any determination on complaints surely must be made by management - but it's good to see that the city anticipates complaints, takes them seriously, and has a process to shepherd them along which includes both civilians and an advocate for the complainant.
Yes, the disconnect between many neighborhoods and the police is pronounced. In core city neighborhoods, a prevailing attitude is to not talk to or cooperate with police under any circumstance. This is the unfortunate "no snitching" ethos of black urban culture, and is a main reason why crimes on urban minorities are solved less frequently than others.
RPD makes concerted efforts to recruit women, minorities, and city residents to the police ranks. Lately there has been some success, but overall the force remains largely white, suburbanite. This is because through the years, the city has had to select officers from the qualified applicant pool. City people often haven't been interested in the job, or haven't pursued its qualifications.
I agree that a kid from Penfield may not be best able to empathize with realities of city life, but "diversity" is a two-way street. As RPD does its best to hire minorities, city residents need to be willing/able to interact with white cops too.
I agree that Rochester could be better policed, and I think improved management along with an increased investment could help. If policing improvements are made, I doubt they will be popular. Much of the city operates under a relaxed, expanded set of behavior norms that just don't jive with the law.
Perry, don't you know by now that every "anecdote" is due to climate change! ;)
Why are tax payers subsidizing businesses. If there is a demand for this business, it should stand on its own two feet. There are lots of businesses through out Rochester that had to take the risk all on their own, they did not receive any help to get up and running and I say, we don't here either! This is a form of corporate welfare.
I think the primary problem with the RPD is lack of Direction. Somewhere along the line they stopped serving the Community and started serving their Friends and Family or they just sit around and wait to be told what to do. Many officers I have come in contact with seem to be more concerned with the Social aspects of thier Jobs then Law Enforcement. It is hard for some kid from Penfield to empathize with the circumstances of the folks they serve. In fact service is not a tenet of the RPD. Most of the Police I have had contact with are not from the City and have very little regard for the Communities they serve.
John: The charters get the same $$ per student that the city schools get. They can hire non union teachers at a lower wage. Some charter schools are nonprofits and some are for profit, meaning they take the state money and squeeze it.
Based on the track records of for-profit industries like prison management, food services, security services, our gas utility, nursing homes, hospitals, and health insurance the consumer price tag is generally too high and the results are frequently mediocre at best. "It's all about quality, Klein said", but at what cost to the public? The article does not explain the cost difference of a charter education vs a public education, who benefits financially and who pays the tab. That is what taxpayers and parents need to know to make informed decisions.
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I like Lovely Warren. I liked James Sheppard as police chief. However, I don't think he gave her the best advice to hire private security. Sheppard is 100% cop and is blind in areas where Warren needs vision. Warren just kind of went with it, and this I find troubling. I hope things get better. I really think she has the courage to do without the extra protection.
Sean, there are no threats against anyone among these comments. All I see are criticisms of how things have gone thus far. Are we at a point in our city's history where citizens cannot criticize our elected officials? And why would you assume that those who are critical of the Mayor's choices must be white and/or Republican? That's a fairly bigoted mindset. But since you care, I am indeed white but I am a progressive Democrat.
Sean Anonymous raises an interesting point. He says that Warren needs protection because comments like those found on City Newspaper's comment page constitute real and credible threats of physical violence toward Mayor Warren to that extent that it is necessary to hire bodyguards to protect her.
If that is the reason that she needs protection, I don't buy it. And the Editors would remove such comments if they did.
So does she really need bodyguards to protect her from City Newspaper, where such comments are expressly forbidden?
If that is the case, it seems that that she is trying to use bodyguards when better communication with her community may be the real solution.
And Mayor Warren please understand: Your fear creates more fear. Your courage empowers us all.
This is why we really need more information.
I've known Reggie Hill in a professional capacity for over a decade. He's a well-qualified and solid law enforcement officer. I don't know Carbonell but I presume he's qualified. Part of why Warren may feel she needs protection are some of the comments on sites like this one. You people wouldn't question if Bush or Cheney or even Richards needed protection. Why about Mayor Warren? To Willie Drinks: Warren did not have anything to do with the SAFE Act; the State Assembly and Senate pass state laws, not a single city council member in one city. She has to enforce the law. Get your con. law straight. And to MAT: Recall elections are not permitted under NY law. Maybe b/c the framers of the state Constitution had the interesting idea that a majority of votes in a regularly scheduled election according to the legal form should be binding. Of course they didn't realize we'd have so many trolls 75 years later.
Less than two weeks into her reign and the Mayor is using her comatose grandfather for a prop in her photo op, hiring relatives, buying cars and putting questionable people in importance positions which may be tied to paying back her supporters for financial support. Where did that sudden support of $80,000 come from with the Gaddy/Gantt connection? We have her hiring a man who lied about his drinking and driving conviction that was reduced from a higher conviction. She claimed that she had no knowledge of it but if you lie on a job app you don't get to keep your job. Now is she moving more experienced employees out of positions and filling it with cronies, friends, relatives, financial backers ???
If she feels unsafe leaving City Hall get an escort . She had always walked to her car when she was a City Council member. If she feels unsafe in her neighborhood maybe she can move into a gated community or a bigger house with a locked gate and a security booth for her bodyguards. No other Mayors had all that security at our expense. Who does she think she is that we need to pay for her security? She wanted this job and she got it so deal with it. This is not that big a city that we have to waste money on her whims. We are now so much closer to becoming Detroit, thanks Mayor. As another person asked Can we do a recall? As another person said, can we call for an investigation with the Attorney General?
Lovely Warren stated in her best legalese and "literate" defense of her bodyguard decision "We don't do anything for no reason".
Let's hope she straightens herself out, takes her role seriously and corrects the mistakes she has made and apologizes to the taxpayers. As far as the water park she needs to concentrate on developing jobs for the poor rather than one more waste of money like the $20 mill Marina that she and the other city council members approved for Mayor Richards.
Questions about this scandal are valid and reasonable and go far beyond the obvious nepotism involved. Question 1: is it appropriate for a newly sworn in Mayor to make her (or his) first act to be the creation of two new relatively well paid and previously unneeded positions without first receiving Council approval for said positions? There is a process by which new positions are created after all. Question 2: it is well documented that the City is once again facing a large shortfall this budget year; where exactly are the funds coming from to pay for these two positions? The true cost of these positions (salary plus overhead) is nearly $300,000 annually. Since these are new costs, we must assume that jobs, services, and/or investments will be cut to pay for these new positions. The public is entitled to know what we are losing in exchange for protecting our new Mayor from unknown threats that have never before been worthy of an expenditure of taxpayer dollars. Question 3: where did the black Chevy Tahoe come from? Is it a pre-existing City vehicle that our brave ex-Mayor chose not to utilize? If new, who authorized the purchase? If a new City purchase, see Question #2. Question 4: one of the Mayor's most important duties is to be our chief cheerleader-in-charge, it is a duty that Richards, Duffy, Johnson, and Ryan all did fairly well (some better than others). Is it wise for this Mayor to publicly state that our city has a bigotry problem? Might this come up during future business recruitment efforts? It would seem to be a rather sad state of affairs when your own Mayor is bad-mouthing your city. And finally, Question 5: what happens to the Mayor's parking spot in the City Hall parking lot since she will not need it?
And yes, I am a proud City resident who voted for the other guy. However, I get no joy whatsoever out of the comedy of errors that has been this Administration's first 10 days. I do truly hope that things start to turn around soon.
Bonus question: is there a process by which City voters may recall a sitting Mayor?
$140k/yr is ONLY for salaries for 2 guards. Since they aren't with a security company, there WILL be expensives: car's, car maintenance, insurance. We'll have to pay for weapons, uniforms, etc. Probably computers, gas. We'll also be on the hook for overhead and administrative costs. Besides, she'll look foolish walking around with armed guards. The mayor and Rochester will become a laughingstock.
I have a problem with the first reason she gave for hiring the bodyguards .. That she is the first female mayor. She wants to be a city politician but cant accept the risks that former mayors, as well as us 'regular' people accept every day. What else does she need ? I'm already a little sorry I voted for her.
I will miss Craig Autometrics.
To Mayor Warren: This nonsense, fraud, waste, and abuse of this $140,000/year of taxpayer money needs to end immediately!! Forget Sheppard. He's gone. You need to hire a driver WITH YOUR OWN MONEY, and work directly with the police for all other concerns. You are in charge of them you know.
As Mayor, you represent blacks, whites, women, men, bigots, racists, etc. All of the taxpayers whom you represent want their money back!!
Maybe we all should at least have a little sympathy for someone who was put in the extremely awkward position of having to decide for herself whether to spend money on her own security and all at a time of increased scrutiny.
Jim Sheppard wasn't the best person to ask and it would have looked much better if someone else would have wanted it for her and did the work to get it. She must have been shocked to find out that the police didn't have a convenient option for protecting her. However, because of her criticism of the police department, she shouldn't have been much surprised.
I must still say that if someone else doesn't want it for you, then you don't get it. Therefore, if you use your power to get it, then you deserve the public outrage.
I wonder if her bodyguards have more than 7 rounds loaded in their magazines... Guarantee it. Lovely? comment?
Because she should LIVE by WHAT SHE BELIEVES IN AND WHAT SHE SAYS WE SHOULD LIVE BY!! She says that the SAFE Act has made NY'ers safer, that we don't need guns,and that the SAFE ACT has done this effectively. Why does she need body guards? She should be subject to the same limitations she has IMPOSED on us!
Despite its successes, the Rochester region still has its share of environmental problems.
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