James Sheppard's Statement on Mayor Warren's Press Conference

“The Mayor's press conference yesterday was another example of a lack of leadership, and demonstrated why our current public safety procedures are not working for our city.

While it is a good thing to share crime statistics with the community, it shouldn't be done as a reaction to a wave of violence.  As was the practice in prior City administrations, citywide crime data should be presented quarterly for many reasons, including:

·      Full transparency

·      To provide citizens with up-to-date crime pattern information

·      To encourage citizens to stay involved and working with police to keep our city safe

As for the Mayor's assertion that the city is ‘safe and getter safer’ - I ask ‘for whom’? Poor and minority neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by violence. Poor and minority neighborhoods are taking the brunt of the highest murder rate in years. These are the neighborhoods where shootings are rampant. With illegal gun confiscations down and the Rochester Police Department not fully staffed, how will these areas see relief from this wave of violence?

The status quo is not working and saying we're safer is just a hollow statement gleaned from a stat sheet.

The police reorganization is incomplete, and will remain so until there are section offices in the neighborhoods. The disconnect between the police and the public continues as the homicide clearance rates for 2016 sit at 50%.

With true community policing and engagement, we will have fewer murders and higher potential for solving the ones that do occur. This is why we need new leadership with a commitment to be transparent, to have a plan, and to show real measurable progress when it comes to protecting all of our citizens.”