ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Northeast Safety Committee — a neighborhood watch group in Rochester — has been walking up and down Clinton Avenue Saturday afternoon to help the community prep for after parties of the Puerto Rico Festival continuing through the night.
You can already feel the celebrations started with people on one stretch of Clinton Ave. waving Puerto Rican flags and playing music while vendors set up tents. As the day goes on, the Northeast Safety Committee is asking for support to keep the celebration civil.
Liliana Ruiz is one of the volunteers for the Northeast Safety Committee. She takes pride in being a Latina in Rochester. By being out on the streets speaking directly to community members, she feels this will keep people aware of how to celebrate safely.
“It’s people talking to people, and they can relate, and we talk to them like we talk to each other,” Ruiz said. “So, we did this last year and the last few years. A year ago, it worked.”
On each block, volunteers handed out flyers that stated city ordinances like no loitering in the parks after 11:00 pm or playing music loud enough that can be heard 50 feet away after 10:00 p.m. and businesses know who to turn to if things get out of hand.
“You know, we do have our families out here and after a certain time we got to be mindful of them and be considerate,” Ruiz continued. “Have compassion for them.”
“Being that buffer so it’s not coming at them like a tactile force or strike force,” Northeast Safety Committee leader Anthony Plonczynski-Figueron added. “Really community oriented where others in the community have a dialogue about how to be good neighbors.”
The Northeast Safety Committee has partnered with Rochester Police and will be communicating via radio when assistance is needed. If any suspicious activity is seen, they’ll decide who should handle it.
“We have a captain here who works within the Northeast Safety Committee,” Plonczynski-Figueron said. “We have a point person with RPD central command. We’ll make a decision if it should be an RPD approach or a community approach constantly throughout the day.”
Any violations of city ordinances during these celebrations could result in a municipal code ticket or traffic ticket being given out that carries fines.