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The debate over a proposed police accountability board brings a crowd to Rochester City Hall

James Brown

Dozens of people crowded Rochester City Council chambers on Tuesday night. They spoke for and against the proposed independent police accountability board.

City Council introduced its version of the board back in January. Rochester Police Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo is against that proposal as it stands now, and says that Council should restart the process.

“I think there’s a need to start over,” Mazzeo said. “Get a blue ribbon panel in there and do this right. And do it correctly. And then let’s get where we need to be. The issue is transparency. We’re not going to get it through this legislation. And that’s part of what we’ve tried to say from the start.”

Ted Forsyth, one of the leaders of the Rochester Police Accountability Board Alliance, says Rochester has waited long enough.

“This city has had decades of blue ribbon panels,” Forsyth said. “We do not need another blue ribbon panel we need action. And we need to address the issues at hand and not have another panel tell us the same thing.”

No word yet when Council will vote on the legislation. Council President Loretta Scott says input from several public input sessions will be incorporated in the final bill.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.