Mayor Warren, Rev. Stewart Sign Historic Agreement to Advance Police Reform

Mayor Lovely A. Warren and the Rev. Lewis Stewart of United Christian Leadership Ministry have advanced the police reform goal outlined in the City’s response to the Governor’s Executive Order 203 to create Civilian Public Safety Interview Panel.

“We must create a Police Department that truly protects and serves our community because it has the empathy and perspective to do so,” said Mayor Warren. “Every officer has to be connected to the residents they serve and see their challenges, not through the lens of the badge, but through a lens of understanding. The Civilian Public Safety Interview Panel will go a long way toward helping us do that.”

The nine to twelve-member panel will interview new-hire candidates for the Rochester Police Department officers and provide a recommendation to the Chief of Police.

The City will begin taking applications for the Interview Panel in January. But to ensure the Panel’s credibility from Day One, the City has asked Rev. Stewart to sit on a three person committee to review the panelist applications with a member of the Rochester Police Department and the Department of Human Resource Management. 

Mayor Warren and Rev. Stewart signed a Memorandum of Agreement that outlines the role of this committee. The memorandum also articulates the format and procedures of the Interview Panel. They will ask questions regarding the candidates::

• Attitudes on contemporary policing;

• Life experiences;

• Familiarity with and involvement within the Rochester Community;

• And implicit biases to determine whether the applicant is fit to serve with ethics, integrity, and non-discriminatory and non-racist attitudes and behaviors.