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Police Accountability Board has its first executive director

Conor Dwyer Reynolds was unanimously approved to serve as the first executive director of Police Accountability Board on Tuesday.

The Police Accountability Board in Rochester has its first executive director. The board has hired Conor Dwyer Reynolds after a search that attracted more than 150 candidates.

Reynolds is a Rochester native, attended the University of Rochester and has a law degree from Yale. He also worked in the Obama Administration. His most recent position was teaching law at Yale, and a statement from the PAB said that he partnered with Rochester's City Roots Community Land Trust to address racism in Monroe County.

The Police Accountability Board was formed last year after getting approval from voters in a referendum. But, a ruling by a State Supreme Court Judge earlier this year means that the PAB does not have the power to discipline city police officers.

Even without that ability right now, Reynolds says the board can still work to help reimagine public safety in Rochester.

“Even with a lawsuit that temporarily deprives of some powers, with time, this board can create real change in Rochester. If we regain those powers, we can create even more change," Reynolds said.

Reynolds also said, “Our enemy is the deep structures of racism and injustice that go beyond any single person or group of people. Anyone committed to dismantling those structures is our ally in this fight to reimagine public safety.”

Reynolds said that if the PAB gets the right kinds of financial resources it needs, it can help create an accountable public safety system in Rochester that reflects the priorities of all city residents.