Chief Sheppard said his review process would be shared with 13WHAM News and the community once it is complete but only with the approval and following discussions with the Locust Club.
13WHAM News has also requested an interview with Officer Hartley and Officer Osipovitch since it is their names and actions being publicly scrutinized. Chief Sheppard stated that he hasn’t even interviewed these officers because of the procedures that must be followed for internal reviews and at this time he is denying that request. The Chief noted he understands how an officer in their position would desire that opportunity.
Chief Sheppard applauded 13WHAM News for Tuesday’s thorough report on this case and pointed to what he sees as the most important takeaway from those reports.
"In terms of your review, it raised questions for you and that's the key piece that I want to get across; as extensively as you went through it and as extensively as you went through it line-by-line with whoever, at the end there are questions and if there are questions for you, you have to understand there are questions for me,” Chief Sheppard said. "I also have to have this city comfortable that we can police ourselves because if they don't feel comfortable that we can police ourselves and we don't have credibility, everything we do in the process is based on credibility.”
Chief Sheppard also addressed an apparent communication gap exposed in this Roxborough Road case. While Judge Randall’s decision was filed August 9th the officers named in the decision and Chief Sheppard himself only learned about on September 24th through 13WHAM News inquiries. Chief Sheppard said he maintains regular contact with Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley and has discussed this and other issues related to this case.
"I think obviously this scenario has raised concerns within the D.A.'s Office relative to how they will process those things in the future because I'm sure that, from D.A. Doorley's perspective, I'm sure she'd want something fast-tracked to her if it was such a strongly worded decision (and) that she'd want to be made aware of it and I'm sure she'd reach out to our office to make us aware of it as well,” Chief Sheppard said.
"We definitely have to be in a position for this Rochester community or any community to believe in their police department and when they swear to something they're telling the truth,” he added.