ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Come 2023, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and dozens of partnering agencies, school districts, and other entities will have more tools and manpower to crack down on mass shootings and other targeted violence threats.
Within next year’s budget for Monroe County, is funding for new positions and resources to grow the Rochester Threat Advisory Committee. A network of organizations and law enforcement tasked with stopping those who plan to go on a mass killing spree and get them long-term help.
“We’ve all heard the term see something, say something. Well now it’s see something, say something, do something,” Sheriff Baxter stated.
With unanimous approval by the county legislature, the Sheriff’s Office will add three new deputies and four civilian staff to help ROCTAC grow and achieve its goals.
“They got the time to analyze things, they got the time to if you will look at intelligence and look at reports,” Sheriff Baxter explained. “But also look at this person’s mental health issues, they have some expertise. How do we negotiate with this person if it’s a financial issue or a grievance that they can’t get off.”
Besides making an arrest and stopping a mass shooting or other targeted threats, the county’s mission with ROCTAC is to use tools from the private and public sectors to make sure suspects get long-term help and heal.
“Not just put handcuffs on a guy that has a gun in a parking lot, that’s temporary,” Sheriff Baxter added. “Should be done, but that’s temporary. How do we manage that person for months and years on out so they don’t want to go back and shoot up their local employer or shoot up a school cause they can’t get over that person or place that made them upset.”
In total, 28 organizations and agencies make up ROCTAC’s partnership. Sheriff Baxter says each entity can pitch in to offer their expertise and help when another part of the community is facing trouble.
“If you have this problem of this person wanting to carry a gun in your school, we can help you manage that problem,” Sheriff Baxter told us. “We’re not going to take over that problem, it’s still your school district. But we’ll be there as 28 of your best friends and help you manage that, so you’re as secure as possible. And security here is prevention hopefully of that mass shooting.”
If you know about any troubled person or group trying to plan a targeted threat to the public of any kind you can also contact the Rochester Threat Advisory Committee online where your tips can remain anonymous.
Within the 2023 Monroe County Budget, The Sheriff’s Office also received more funding to hire 11 more road patrol deputies and mental health staff to assist deputies stressed from the job.