Board Able to Finalize Open Investigations
Rochester’s Police Accountability Board has finalized the agency’s Disciplinary Matrix. Members of
the board will begin receiving investigations for review as early as May 18.
The Disciplinary Matrix outlines potential penalty levels and sanctions for Rochester police officers
who commit various levels of misconduct. Sherry Walker-Cowart, Interim Executive Director of the
PAB, says cementing this process has been the primary goal of the agency since opening for
investigations in 2022.
“This team and the board have worked tirelessly to get this in place,” said Walker-Cowart. “It took
time but we wanted to get it right not only for the agency but also for the community. We can finally
say we have crossed the finish line.”
For each substantiated misconduct case, the board can now recommend discipline or mediation. The
Rochester Police Department then has 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) to publicly announce if it
will implement the Board’s recommended outcome. Board Chair Larry Knox says this is what the
public has been waiting for.
“The fact that the Rochester Police Department must explain to the people of this City exactly why or
why not they will take the PAB’s recommendation gives something back to the community. In a
system that typically lacks transparency, this is a powerful thing.” said Knox.
The process to finalize the matrix included sending the document to the Rochester Police Department
and Locust Club. Both provided some input or recommended changes. Suggestions for changes to
the matrix will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.
In addition to passing the agency’s Disciplinary Matrix the PAB also welcomed three new board
members during the May 4, meeting. Mary E. Wambach, Rev. Keith Patterson, and Mr. William Clark
were appointed to the Police Accountability Board by City Council in April. More information on the
newest members is to come.
To schedule an interview regarding this press release, please contact PAB Deputy Chief of Public Information Vanessa J. Cheeks at [email protected].