ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Community members are honoring Rochester police officer Manny Ortiz, in the neighborhood where he served.
Ortiz was killed in a car crash over the weekend, after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh while driving.
People are holding a rally in the area where he used to live Tuesday, to carry on his legacy. Organizers said the area will be full of people, gathering to honor officer Ortiz.
The walk is part of a patrol group call PACTAC, Police and Citizens Together Against Crime.
The group of volunteers walks the neighborhood, helps people out, and reports anything suspicious to police.
The volunteers in this particular area, the Wadsworth Square Neighborhood, were trained by officer Ortiz.
Jack Darcy is the president of the Wadsworth Square Neighborhood Association, and he says officer Ortiz was passionate about citizens and police working together, and that he always made sure the group had the training they needed to succeed.
“He went out of his way, you could just read his face and his big smile that he was glad that we were doing it, and he would come for a couple of people or a room full — he would come to get people out supporting the police and helping the community,” Darcy said.
Darcy says the walks are usually done at night, and last about an hour. He’s been aprt of the group for five years and tonight, he’s excited to this walk to honor officer Ortiz’s legacy.
The Rochester Police Department, and the family of officer Manny Ortiz, is extending an invite to the entire community to attend a memorial service in his honor.
The event will take place this Friday at 11 a.m. at the Rochester Convention Center. Parking will be available in the South Avenue parking garage.
In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to the GoFundMe set up by the Rochester Police Foundation to set up a scholarship fund for his children.
Many in the community are mourning the loss of officer Ortiz and many shared stories about the impact he made in the area:
- Friends remember officer Manuel Ortiz after fatal accident
- Officer Ortiz remembered for dedication to community
- Officer Manuel Ortiz loved the children on his beat
“He was always willing to do what was asked of him, and he will always be remembered for that,” Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said Monday.