Prevention, intervention and suppression lie at the core of the city’s anti-violence efforts.
The Rochester Police Department has expanded its targeted, geographic approach to increase enforcement activity in micro hot spots that are experiencing disproportionate levels of violence, officials say. Mounted patrol has been redeployed to areas of concern, the RPD traffic unit is focusing on ATVs, and a command post is stationed at International Plaza at La Marketa with foot patrols added to the area.
These are some of the actions taken since Rochester Mayor Malik Evans declared a gun violence state of emergency in the city on July 21. Evans shared an update Tuesday.
“We are approaching this state of emergency as the public health crisis that it is,” Evans said. “I will continue to provide regular updates in an effort to maintain a spotlight on this issue, and also to ensure that our good work and progress is being reported just as much as the incidents of violence making headlines.”
The RPD is partnering with PathStone and the Ibero-American Action League to hold a Walking One-Stop on Aug. 10 at International Plaza, to provide community members with access to services, education and resources to help reduce gun violence, officials said. The police department is also working with federal agencies to stem the proliferation of illegal guns. Since the start of the year, 475 illegal weapons have been confiscated.
Stopping illegal activity and violence at businesses have also stepped up in the last three weeks. Within days of each reported incident, the city’s Law Department shut down two places of business and restricted another’s operations, officials said.
On the prevention and intervention front, the city’s Department of Recreation and Human Services held its second R-Night Out, which was attended by more than 100 youth at the Rochester Community Sports Complex. On Aug. 20, the city will hold its second Total Health and Wellness Fair, connecting attendees to health care, mental health, food and shelter, violence prevention, and other crucial resources.
Pathways to Peace, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and the Peacemakers Fellowship are also at work through the Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention Services. The Rochester Peace Collective is accepting responses to its request for proposals for violence-prevention programs through Aug. 12. It will begin selecting partners for funding after that date. A back-to-school peace party, hosted by the Office of Neighborhood Safety, is scheduled for Aug. 27 in the Northwest quadrant.
Violence patterns will continue to be assessed with each 30-day renewal of the emergency proclamation. It gives Evans expanded authority to develop and implement violence-prevention strategies.