September 11th was life-altering for a lot of New Yorkers. It changed RPD Officer Amy Bauer's career path. She was studying journalism, but felt called to serve and spoke with an Army recruiter.
"Which at the time scared my mom more. But now I think she's more scared about me being on this job and what we see every day-to-day than if I'd gone into the military," she said.
Amy's path to RPD was unique. In her seventh year with the Monroe County Sheriff's office, she worked a "Project Impact" detail in Rochester along side city cops and state troopers.
"It was a different experience; different environment from the Sheriff's department, which I equally loved and owe them so much for giving me the career that I had, and I had a great time there," she said.
In the city Bauer feels closer to the people she has sworn to protect and serve. There has been a lot of violence on the west side.
"You know we had a lot of shootings, a lot of assaults; most of it is gang-related," she said.
We were there when two young men were arrested for a robbery and car-jacking. Slow nights are rare, but Bauer is always on the move- solving problems, backing up officers whenever she can.
"I try to help them out because I know they'll do the same for me; and I just like staying busy," she said.
Amy Bauer is only 5'1", but do not let her size fool you. She is widely respected. Six hundred cops recently voted her a finalist for RPD Officer of the Year. It is not a popularity contest. It is based on achievement. Bauer also has a big heart. She volunteers at School #36 in a program called Generation Two. The idea is to show kids learning is important and people in the community care about them.
"I can build a relationship with the kids here before they know me as a police officer, and they can see we're not just labelled as the bad guy sometimes or those that just take people to jail. We're really out there to help," she said.
Law enforcement runs in the Bauer family.
"My goal is to be an investigator in Major Crimes one day and be a homicide investigator," she said.
Amy was born to work on the west side.
"My great, great grandfather was an investigator and lived on the west side and lived with his family on Lyell Avenue," she said. "It's just a really cool connection. You know, both my mom's family and my dad's family mostly made their lives here on the west side of town."
The west side is where Officer Bauer is already ready to answer the call to be one of Rochester's finest.
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