WXXI AM News

police relations

We sit down with Officer Tiffani Gatson, the first African American woman to join the Greece Police Department. Officer Gatson graduated from the police academy earlier this month. She told the Democrat and Chronicle that her appointment creates a positive image, and it feels surreal to be making history.

She joins us in studio along with Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan to talk about diversifying the police force and the implications a more diverse staff can have on police-community relations. In studio:

  • Officer Tiffani Gatson, Greece Police Department
  • Chief Patrick Phelan, Greece Police Department

The Irondequoit Police Department is working to improve the diversity within its ranks. We discuss the department's efforts and how having more officers of color can impact policing and police-community relations.

In studio:

  • Chief Richard Tantalo, Irondequoit Police Department
  • Patrina Freeman, community advocate, minister, and founder of New Directions Ministries
  • Randy Henderson, president of Henderson Ford, minister at the Church of Love Faith Center, and police chaplain
  • Andrae Evans, community member with the Irondequoit Police Community Advisory Team, and retired U.S. Army Colonel
  • Thomas Brady, co-chair and founder of the Greater Rochester Chapter of Conscious Capitalism

The Irondequoit Police Department will be hosting its Police Community Relations Forum next week. The goal is to build community engagement and identify a two-year strategic plan for the police department using resident input. The forum is one of several hosted by the Greater Rochester Police Community Relations working group over the last two years.

This hour, we preview the Irondequoit forum and discuss 21st century policing. Our guests:

  • Chief Richard Tantalo, Irondequoit Police Department
  • Andrae Evans, member of the planning committee for the Irondequoit Police Community Relations Forum 
  • Rev. Patrina Freeman, member of the planning committee for the Irondequoit Police Community Relations Forum
  • David Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor

This week the Rochester Police Department admitted that two officers roughed up a black man without justification. It comes at a time when police accountability is a significant topic of debate: how to reform the system and make sure it leads to justice?

Our guests discuss it:

Local activists, members of the faith community, and law enforcement officers are working together to improve police-community relations in the Greater Rochester area. Last weekend, the fourth annual Police Relations Summit covered a range of issues, including police use of force, body cameras, plea bargaining, implicit bias and more.

We sit down with leaders who attended the summit to discuss what they learned and what they hope to accomplish. In studio:

During the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon chose police Captain Ronald Johnson to oversee law enforcement efforts. It was a delicate situation, and Cpt. Johnson wanted to respect demonstrators while maintaining order.

Cpt. Johnson is in Rochester as a guest of Baden Street Settlement to talk about lessons learned from Ferguson. Our guests:

  • Captain Ronald S. Johnson, Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • RPD Deputy Chief Mark Simmons, board member for Baden Street Settlement

This past weekend on the streets of Rochester and  on the streets of many other American cities, crowds of people gathered to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

In some cities, the demonstrations were strong, but without confrontation. In Memphis, the acting chief of police marched arm-in-arm with Black Lives Matter leaders who had shut down a major bridge. Police prayed with the protesters.

In other cities, like Rochester, police donned shields and pushed the crowd out of the streets, saying they were trying to keep the peace. Dozens of people were arrested, including two African American reporters from 13WHAM News.

We discuss the community's response to the protests and what's next for the Black Lives Matter movement. Our guests:

We sit down with pastor Marlowe Washington of Christ Community Church. During the memorial service for Officer Daryl Pierson, Washington was praised for his recent sermons on the value of life. He'll share what he's been saying, and he'll talk about how the community can heal in the wake of Officer Pierson's killing.