ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — During her Tuesday morning visit to Rochester, Governor Hochul announced $112,000 towards renovations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rochester. This came as part of her public safety proposals in the 2024 Fiscal Year Executive Budget.
Before discussing her proposals and investment points, Governor Hochul said that shootings in New York are down 13% and murders are down by 11% in 2022.
During her press conference, the governor emphasized the importance of law enforcement — announcing that state police academies will be doubling graduating classes by four in an effort to expand law enforcement throughout New York State. For state prosecutors, the state budget will increase to $52 million to support them.
Hochul also says that shootings not only affects the victims’ families but also the families of the suspects. Hochul said that she will be making a record investment towards G.I.V.E (Gun Involved Violence Elimination) by adding $110 million statewide, with Rochester receiving $36 million up from $18 million back in 2022.
Hochul announced that $50 million will be put towards a new emergency room department in Strong Memorial Hospital in an effort to triple the size of the emergency room.
Hochul also touched upon the topic of bail reform, saying that although she doesn’t believe in holding someone in jail to wait to be charged for a crime if they cannot afford bail, repeat offenders are allowed to be released. Hochul said she wants to look to removing the least-restrictive means standard for bail-eligible, violent offenses.
“We’re not looking to criminalize poverty, we’re not wiping the least restrictive means for these other cases, where you would say, ‘Why would they have to sit in jail waiting because they didn’t harm anyone,'” Hochul said.
“We will not reduce violent crime in our cities or any cities without the community approach, without collaboration,” Mayor Evans said. “I cannot say enough about this governor and her push for collaboration, for understanding that Rochester is not on an island, that we are not alone and we have to work collaboratively.”
Two Rochester councilmembers, Kim Smith and Stanley Martin, released a statement criticizing Governor Hochul’s proposal to remove the standard from bail law while calling her public safety address “disingenuous:”
“We have a serious problem with violence, especially gun violence. We need all elected leaders to be equally serious. For this Governor to come to Rochester – one of our nation’s poorest cities – and claim that bail reform allows people to shoot each other without consequences is just insulting. The reality is Governor Hochul’s budget proposal fails to make the investments and policy changes that communities across our state need to be safe. Instead of ending homelessness, ensuring access to quality community-based mental health treatment, creating an inclusive social safety net, funding evidence-backed overdose prevention programs, or providing material support for crime victims that doesn’t require them to be retraumatized by working with police, she offers only more jailing. We know who will suffer: Black, brown, and low-income communities. The havoc in our city is a direct result of the violence of these systems.”
Check back with News 8 as we continue to update this developing story