We Stand With Shep
Dr. Marlowe V.N. Washington, Community Activist and Pastor
"I ask you, what is it that we need? We need a Sheppard! We need a Sheppard to adequately protect our city. We need a Sheppard to ensure that every family has the right to have a decent home and quality of life. We need a Sheppard to recreate great education for our students. We need a Sheppard to get us out of the nation's poverty list! We need a Sheppard to create the demands for more living wage jobs in Rochester. We need a Sheppard to provide opportunities for our city's youth...in Rochester, we have a Sheppard, James Sheppard, and we want nobody else!
BEATRIZ LEBRON, Community advocate & candidate for RCSD Board
"At Alternatives for Battered Women, I would make it my business to inform James if an RPD officer may not have handled a victim with care. My concerns were addressed and he responded with education and training for RPD in these sensitive matters. His concern is genuine - in fact he also serves on the board for Willow, which was formerly Alternatives for Battered Women."
pastor sammie drayton, hope devine chruch of god
"James wold never say no to a meeting about a community concern. He met with folks in churches - mine included. He met with folks on the street and in barber shops. He went to them, and didn't make people come to him...He never dodge a question -- never tried to smooth over feelings with platitudes. He listened. He didn't always have the answers but at the end of the meeting, there was a room full of folks who felt they were heard -- were understood and knew they could rely on Shep to be good to his word. There weren't any cameras there. No media, just Shep being Shep. I admire that in him. That's the kind of behavior a leader exhibits and that's why I support him."
Victor Saunders, Youth Intervention Strategist
"I worked for 16 years for the City of Rochester running Pathways to Peace - a gang intervention initiative. I know a few things about the streets of Rochester and about youth violence. I also know the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. When I met James Sheppard, it didn't take me long to realize he wasn't a cop because it was a job. He was in it because he cared. His concern for young people came right through."
laura delehanty, east high school teacher
"My students discussed the need for police to better understand the perspective of youth, and for youth to better understand the difficult work of police officers...They organized an event they called, "Cops, Cookies, and Conversation." The students reached out to James Sheppard - our police chief at the time. He immediately responded stating he loved the idea and offered to help make it a reality. We are in a time of great tension between police and the community. But even back then, Chief Sheppard knew the importance of building bridges between different groups of people, and that bridges are built through talking, listening and understanding."
Christian Lopez, Monroe High School Student
"We didn't know that Mr. Sheppard was a former cop - much less a police chief! He certainly didn't act like one. He was straightforward - he didn't care about titles or rank. He put himself out there...Mr. Sheppard taught us life skills. He gave us confidence. He cared about us and made us - made me - realize how I act toward others can change the way they act towards me. Mr. Sheppard gave me the tools and knowledge that I will have with me for the rest of my life."
Ten years ago, on a beautiful September evening, in the heart of the city of Rochester, a woman was beaten to death, by an angry mob...Three weeks passed and no one came forward with information regarding this horrendous assault...Afterwards, right in the middle of the neighborhood, we all gathered for a picnic...In the middle of al this was James Sheppard, giving away free book bags, filled with school supplies. He was with the people - with the community and our kids, talking about the sanctity of life - about accountability, responsibility and civic duties. He wasn't a copy that day. He was a friend and role model. Subsequent to that project, witnesses came forth, identified the perpetrators of that crime and they are now in prison."
aaron hilger, builders exchange ceo
"One of the things that struck me in getting to know Shep is that in our first two meetings he did not say much. He listened to what I had to say, and asked intelligent questions. That's different from a lot of politicians. But then, Shep is not your average politician. The meetings were not about him, or his wants or needs. Rather, they were about learning. Learning about how we get our kids a path to good-paying construction jobs. He was focused like a laser on developing better pathways to invest and train the next generation."
bob stevenson, retired city councilmember & longtime NorthWest champion
"During James Sheppard's tenure as RPD Chief, he made a point of being connected to neighbors through programs like PAC-TAC and Chief on the Street. Shep knows that keeping our streets safe means fostering good relationships with those you serve. I know that he will bring that same community-focused approach to City Hall."