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Sheppard's Future Undecided

News 8 learned the police chief submitted, then withdrew, his retirement papers.
The future of Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard is cloudy, as he has not spoken to Mayor-Elect Lovely Warren since she won the election.

"I've had no conversations with anyone at this point in time and I'm looking forward to where she's coming from and we'll go from there," said Sheppard.

Sheppard became police chief in late 2010. He's tried to improve police-community relationships, introducing the department motto, "Policing in the Spirit of Service."

"The job isn't about coming and getting a paycheck and being enforcers. It's really about being a part of the community," said Sheppard. 

Those efforts may not have been enough. When asked if she would retain Sheppard, Warren said, "If the police chief wants to remain we will talk about that, but I know that we have some community police relationships that we have to repair and build upon so I will be looking for the best person to lead our city when it comes down to public safety."

Warren was asked twice about Sheppard during a news conference on her transition. She did not offer praise for the chief during either answer.

News 8 learned Sheppard put in his retirement on October 17, to be effective November 11. He withdrew the application on October 23, according to the state comptroller's office. That's about the time the upstart campaign for Mayor Tom Richards was starting to gather steam. Richards held a press conference that day in which he did not disavow his supporters. Sheppard said politics had nothing to do with his decision to withdraw his retirement papers.

"At one point in time I thought that was what I wanted to do and it may still be what I do, but i'm going to let things play out and make my determination based on how things go," said Sheppard, who added he wasn't ready to retire. "

"I'm sure she'll put a great team together," Sheppard said. "Whatever future holds, I'm going to enjoy it, one way or the other."

Warren's Transition Team

Warren appointed lawyer Christopher Thomas and RIT business school dean dt ogilvie head of her transition team. They are volunteering their time. The team will pay former mayor William Johnson's consulting firm.

Seventy-seven City Hall workers will have to reapply for their jobs. Warren said she has people in mind for about five positions. 

"We want the best people who are qualified to do the job to move our city forward. We want to make sure we give everyone an opportunity who wants to work for the Warren administration, an opportunity to be heard, sit down and hear our vision, understand where we plan to take our community," Warren said.

A website, warrentransition.com, will be up on Friday. People can also apply in person at 39 State Street on the fourth floor.
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