A new survey released Thursday shows safety and staffing concerns among Rochester Police Officers.
Lucy McFadden said Rochester’s five section policing model has helped build police relations in her neighborhood. “If they come to my house they will say hi and I remember you. I have a disabled daughter that lives with me and they remember her too,” she said.
According to the survey, about a third of Rochester police officers agree that the new model is improving community engagement. But, more than 88% said it isn’t improving community safety, and more than 92% said it isn’t improving officer safety.
“The goal of this reorganization was to improve community policing efforts and to connect with our neighborhoods,” Locust Club President, Mike Mazzeo said. “The reality is that insufficient staffing doesn’t lead to the ability to do that in any way shape or form.”
The survey was conducted by, BRX Global Research Services, an independent research firm. 58% of officers submitted responses. Two-thirds of whom said they don’t feel safe in their assignments.
“If the police officers don’t feel safe, how are law abiding citizens, or visitors to this city going to feel safe,” Mazzeo said.
88% of Rochester police officers also feel under staffed. “We’re not going to effectively change the course of that violence or the level of that violence unless we do proactive work. There’s no way we can do that work when we’re this understaffed.
Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli says they’ve budgeted for 725 officers. Currently, the department has 713. “I don’t know a single police officer that doesn’t believe that their department should have more officers. I’d like to have more officers. What we’re trying to do is examine our new structure.”
Ciminelli questions the timing of the survey since contract negotiations begin soon. He also said no survey has been done before. So, they have nothing to compare it to. Still, he wants to sit down with the police union to address concerns among members of the department.