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PAB Introduces Groundbreaking Proposal for Police Accountability at Father Tracy Advocacy Center


The Police Accountability Board (PAB) announced its innovative Right to Know Proposal for Change, specifically tailored to the Latino community in Rochester. In collaboration with the Father Tracy Advocacy Center, the board hosted on August 16, a public input session at 821 N. Clinton Avenue.


The in-person event included a comprehensive presentation on the agency's Right to Know proposal, complete with Spanish interpreters and translated documents for all attendees.


De’Jon Hall, Director of the PAB's Policy & Oversight Division, emphasized the importance of community input in shaping their Proposals for Change. "We recognize that the success of our proposals relies on the active participation of the Spanish-speaking population in Rochester, as well as other marginalized segments of our community who are often excluded from these critical conversations," Hall stated. "Engaging with these communities has been a top priority for our agency, and we are thrilled to continue this important work alongside the Father Tracy Advocacy Center."


The Right to Know proposal centers around enhancing transparency and accountability within the Rochester Police Department. It specifically addresses how police officers identify themselves during encounters and proposes that officers be required to request a translator for non-English speakers before conducting certain law enforcement duties.


During the presentation on Wednesday night, board members outlined the key components of the Right to Know Proposal. One significant change would be the requirement for officers to introduce themselves during encounters, a practice that is currently only mandatory if requested by the individual. Additionally, officers would be expected to obtain audio or video consent from individuals before conducting searches. The PAB believes that these measures will foster greater transparency and trust between the police and community members.


Jonathan Khoury, a policy and data analyst with the Rochester Police Accountability Board, highlighted the importance of officer identification. "When individuals have conflicts with officers, need to report something, or require accommodation, they often struggle to identify the officer involved," Khoury explained. "By implementing this proposal, we aim to provide an additional layer of accountability, ensuring that individuals interacting with our city's police force have a reference point for the officers they encounter, just as we do in any professional setting."


Furthermore, the proposal mandates that officers have access to translation or interpreting services when faced with language barriers or individuals who are hard of hearing. "In Rochester, we have a significant Spanish-speaking population, as well as a large deaf and hard-of-hearing community," Khoury elaborated. "By requiring officers to have translation or interpreting services readily available, we can bridge the language gap and ensure effective communication between officers and community members."


The PAB and the Father Tracy Advocacy Center are committed to fostering a more inclusive and accountable police force in Rochester. They invited all community members, particularly those from the Latino community. Community members that did not attend the public input session on August 16 may contribute their valuable insights to the Right to Know Proposal by August 17.


For more information about this press release contact PAB Deputy Chief of Public Information Vanessa J. Cheeks at vanessa.cheeks@cityofrochester.gov.


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