Operation Guardian Phase II: Law enforcement says violent crime declining in Rochester

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester is about a month into ‘Phase II’ of Operation Guardian.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office — in collaboration with the US Marshal’s fugitive task force, and State Police — are teaming up to help crackdown on violent crime in the City of Rochester. It’s one of a few joint efforts police are doing to turn the tide, and open up pathways to work with the community. 

Last month during Phase I, Guardian resulted in 60 arrests. Lt. Jeff Lafave with the RPD says numbers are coming in soon for Phase II, but he says the program is showing results. 

“Our violence in the city is actually starting to see a decrease over the last couple of weeks,” he says.

Lafave says much of what we’re seeing is targeted disputes between parties. Lt. John Watson with the Sheriff’s Office says this is about building bridges. 

“We’re all out here together trying to solve this violence problem and just build a healthy relationship with everyone,” he says.

There’s a plan of action in place for this, with nine steps that include working with neighborhoods. The feedback they say is, surprisingly, positive. 

“In today’s climate given the underlying narrative, you’d think that’d be just the opposite. Since this program’s been enacted, there’s been such great support from the community,” says Lafave.

Both the police and the public realizing, there’s a lot of work to do. Lafave says there’s a more holistic approach to the violence problem.

“With social workers chipping into help, community members helping out…” says Lafave.

Both say 2021 has been a sobering year for everyone. The mission to eliminate violent crime continues. “Finding creative ways to bring everybody to the table so that we can find some sort of common ground,” says Lafave.

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