ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — During a “Speak to Council” forum on Youtube, an overwhelming number of people Tuesday night asked City Council to put what will be a new Goodman Section Rochester Police substation on the chopping block, and re-invest into the community.
“I am here to compel you to vote ‘no’ on the funding of a police substation,” says Taurus Savant, City Resident.
“Council we are in the midst of the largest outcry to defund the police ever,” says Noah Koloske.
“Those funds can better serve struggling citizens with rent relief, utilities,” says Mary Hammele.
The council ultimately voted six to three to approve the station, the precise language of introductories 314 and 315 listed below:
“Int. No. 314 Bond Ordinance of the City of Rochester, New York authorizing the issuance of $12,573,000 Bonds of said City to finance a portion of the costs of the Rochester Police Department Goodman Section and Southeast Neighborhood Service Center project. Int. No. 315 Authorizing an agreement and funding for the Rochester Police Department Goodman Section and Southeast Neighborhood Service Center Project.”
City councilmember Mary Lupien, who lives in the Beechwood area and voted “no” on the project, talked with News 8 before the vote (Councilmembers Jacklyn Ortiz and Jose Peo also voted against the project).
“A lot of people in the community do want to see more police on the streets, building relationships, making connections, but this building wont necessarily do that,” says Lupien. “So, we need to shift resources to funding those things that prevent violent crime,” she adds.
Looking to take a more direct approach curbing the violence in the city, Mayor Lovely Warren gives the project her approval, and says the $12.5 to $16 million project has already been budgeted.
“We cannot continue to let our neighborhoods suffer. And this is a way for City Hall to make an investment in a challenged community,” says Warren.
But Lupien says she was hoping tonight for more time to reassess this facility among residents, especially now during the economy of COVID-19 pandemic, and changing attitudes towards law enforcement. “I think it’s important that we step back and really see the priorities of the neighborhood,” she says.