News Release - Mayor Announces ‘90-Days of Community Engagement’

City of Rochester

News Release

McFadden/City Council Look at Stronger Civilian Review Board

New Efforts will Empower Community to be Heard, to Engage with Police Department and Strengthen Independent Civilian Oversight Body

(Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016) -- Mayor Lovely A. Warren, Council President Loretta Scott, Councilman Adam McFadden and Chief Michael Ciminelli today announced renewed efforts to give the broad Rochester Community a voice in ongoing efforts to improve the relationship between the Rochester Police Department and the public they serve. Additionally, rank and file officers will also be engaged to give their feedback and ideas toward the same goal. Councilman McFadden outlined a process for City Council to strengthen the current Civilian Review Board which gives oversight to the Police Department.

At the Mayor’s request, Rochester Police Chief Ciminelli and Deputy Chief for Community Relations Harris will engage the public and actively listen to their ideas, input and vision for further improving how the department and the public work with, interact with and view one another. Mayor Warren has asked Chief Ciminelli to engage in a parallel effort with Rochester Police Officers to ensure they are also engaged in this process and to get their important views and ideas.

“We have been on a mission since I took office to improve the connection between our public and the police officers who serve them,” said Mayor Warren. “The issues plaguing cities around America – related to police and community relations – continue to show us that we cannot do enough to improve positive engagement between officers and residents. I refuse to believe that building a culture of respect and understanding on our streets is unattainable because I believe in both our citizens and in our police department. The public wants to be positively engaged in this effort and we need to give them a role by creating forums where they can openly share their ideas to do what we do best in Rochester – which is working together to overcome our challenges. And as we engage the public we must also connect with our officers because building truly strong relationships can never be just one-sided.”

“I am very committed to create a stronger and weightier Citizen Review Board that will have a more important role in the oversight of our police department,” said Councilman McFadden. “At a recent City Council hearing, I was moved by public sentiment and realized we needed to look at a stronger review board to build greater trust with our citizens. Creating a Citizen Review Board with a broader role will only complement all of the efforts Mayor Warren has championed to bring our police department and the community they serve closer together.”

“Today is about building on trust, transparency and accountability,” Said President Scott. “We have worked very hard to build bridges between our citizens and the police department. These announcements are about advancing those efforts in full partnership with our residents.”

As part of Mayor Warren’s extensive, ongoing effort to re-connect RPD with Rochester’s residents and neighborhoods, Chief Ciminelli and Deputy Chief Harris will spend the next 60-days actively listening, engaging and empowering the citizens of Rochester on how the Rochester Police Department can improve its service, relations and perception within every corner of our city.

The Mayor has asked that within 90-days she be presented with a draft strategic plan for improved community relations and engagement as part of this effort. This initiative will begin in October 2016, with the Mayor’s hope to begin the New Year in 2017 with a draft plan based on the public input and feedback collected as well as from conversations with police officers.

This ‘90-Days of Community Engagement’ and the strategic plan it will create were a key outcome Mayor Warren wanted as part of the recent creation of the new Deputy Chief of Community Relations position. Chief Ciminelli has pledged to work with the Center for Public Safety Initiatives at Rochester Institute of Technology to help implement this project.

Councilman McFadden will engage City Council as Chair of the Public Safety Committee to retool the current Civilian Review Board and will work with Council colleagues over the next several months to expand the role of the Review Board and to establish it as an independent investigatory entity.

The newly designed board will require public input as part of City Council’s work process, and Councilman McFadden has pledged to work with his colleagues, the public, Mayor Warren’s office and the police department, among other stakeholders, to develop a framework to determine the future structure of the review board.

The Council President’s office will work with Councilman McFadden and all members of City Council to develop the process needed to create a stronger review board. Ultimately, President Loretta Scott will bring the final recommendations of the Public Safety Committee for consideration and action by the full City Council.

Under Mayor Warren’s direction, the RPD has made major investments in projects to improve police-community relations – including the implementation of the neighborhood-based Five Section Patrol model, the establishment of the Body Worn Camera Program, along with outreach programs like Books & Bears and Clergy on Patrol among others.

“Obviously, our community is here to stay and so is our Police Department, so it should be equally obvious that we need to work together so we can all be successful,” said Mayor Warren. “Today represents yet another step to invest in our residents and our police department which is all part of our efforts to create a city with safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and better educational opportunities for all citizens.”

Any neighborhood groups, churches, clergy, businesses, cultural organizations, schools or residents who want to engage in this effort should contact Deputy Chief Wayne Harris at 428-7033 or email at Additionally, both the Chief and Deputy Chief will actively solicit opportunities to engage community organizations and members.


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.



Crime Prevention