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Coalition Proposes New Community Advisory Board to Monitor RPD Body Camera Program

By Staff


press-conference1A coalition of community leaders has proposed creating a Community Justice Advisory Board, in order to monitor the Rochester Police Department’s use of police body cameras, officials from the coalition stated.

The group said Thursday it has submitted a proposal that has been designed to protect civil liberties, promote better police-community relations, and optimize public safety to City Hall.

The group’s members include United Christian Leadership Ministry president Rev. Lewis Stewart; KaeLyn E.L. Rich, director of the Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union; Mike Blee, of Facing Race, Embracing Equity; and former Green Party mayoral candidate Alex White, among others.

“We want to create a formalized group to have ongoing input with the body worn camera program,” White, the coalition’s secretary, stated. “The policies are still evolving, and the department recognizes that, and we want the city to be supportive of the creation of this committee. We want it to be a recognized board of the city of Rochester.”

The CJAB’s objectives, as per its proposal,  include the following:

  • Ensuring the BWC program is implemented, utilized, and evaluated in such a way as to serve and protect the public;
  • Promoting ongoing equal participation in Body Camera policy, including changes and revisions;
  • Participating in all audits and evaluations;
  • Ensuring justice and upholding the civil liberties of all citizens.

According to the coalition, the board would be comprised of seven to 11 members, and both the mayor and the RPD would have the ability to appoint one member each to the board.

The board would also develop and issue a report, annually, evaluating the RPD’s body-worn camera program.

“We want to make sure that people receive justice, and justice will improve public safety,” White stated.

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