Monday, December 2, 2013

Who is the face of public safety in Rochester at this moment?

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

UPDATE, DEC. 3: Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley has dropped the charges against the three young men arrested while waiting for a bus last week. Doorley released the following brief statement: "After reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, I have decided to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice."

I know Lovely Warren can’t really “do anything” until she’s actually sworn into the mayor’s office in January. We have a mayor and he is still proposing legislation, implementing programs, cutting ribbons, and the rest of it.
click to enlarge James Sheppard. - FILE PHOTO
  • James Sheppard.

But from a public safety perspective, the city is beginning to feel a bit unstable to me. Both Mayor Richards and Police Chief James Sheppard  are on  their  way out, and Warren hasn’t  said much about a replacement for Sheppard except that she has a handful of  possible candidates in mind.

Couple that with some high-profile shooting incidents, a police chase that ended in a crash that sent a Rochester deputy fire chief to the hospital, and the arrests of three young men for allegedly just waiting on the sidewalk to catch a bus, and it feels like things are unraveling and no one is in charge.

I have no idea how police-chief transitions are typically handled — former Mayor Bob Duffy replaced Chief David Moore with Sheppard almost overnight — but would it be unreasonable for the RPD’s number two or another high-ranking officer to take on a more public role during this uncertain time? Someone to lend some continuity and stability until Warren takes office and a new chief is named?

Who is the face of public safety in the city at this moment?

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