ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It was another weekend of violence in Rochester.
According to Rochester police officials, a dozen people have been shot since Friday, and there was one homicide in a double-shooting case. The build-up of cases is causing a backlog for police, which are already under increased pressure due to serious staffing shortages.
Rochester police Lt. Greg Bello confirms the city has now seen 21 homicides at this point, four months into the year. It’s the same amount at this point last year and 2021 was the deadliest year on record for the City of Rochester.
“A lot of people will look at it and say there are random shootings all over the place and they’re scared to go into the city, and things along those lines and really that’s not the case,” Lt. Bello said. “Very rarely are there random bits of crime.”
The Rochester Police Department is adding several new crime cases to its workload after the holiday weekend. An overnight stabbing Saturday on Hague street was followed just a few hours later by a shooting on Harris Street which left a 26-year-old man with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. Twenty minutes later, another victim with a gunshot wound arrived at the hospital. Police later determined that the victim was shot on Hawley Street.
In Friday’s deadly double shooting, another person was left in critical condition but is expected to survive.
Partnerships with local organizations and other entities help create a comprehensive approach to solving these incidents, but each case is specific.
“We held a press conference last week looking for Salahuddin Floyd who’s wanted for the murder of a 17-year-old back in March. That’s somebody that’s been on the run from us for over a month, so at times, apprehension is quick like this morning on Dewey Avenue, and other times it takes a while because we have to track that offender down,” Lt. Bello said.
The department is also currently down on staffing by about 70 sworn personnel. It’s a balancing act of deciding to keep an officer on patrol to respond to calls or promote from within to bolster the number of investigators. This then prompts even more potential issues for non-crime-related 911 calls.
“At times the number of officers that are available to respond to a scene tends to go down and really unfortunately that will hold [sic, response] times for some calls. If we’re out here dealing with two or three major shootings in the city, that really taxes the resources in terms of responding to other 911 calls as well,” Lt. Bello said.
A new class of academy members is currently underway to get more officers on board but that process is lengthy in and of itself. It takes about 18 months to complete the hiring phase, then there is about 10 to 12 months of on-the-job training.
RPD also has a website launched last fall for cold cases. That can be found at rochesternyunsolved.com.