City Council votes to stop development of new $12.5 million Rochester police service center

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott, along with councilmembers Mitch Gruber and Mary Lupien submitted legislation Friday that would halt development on a new $12.5 million Rochester Police Department Goodman Section and Southeast Neighborhood Service Center.

City Council voted to pass that legislation Tuesday night at a meeting. The vote was passed 7-1; Councilmember Jose Peo voted in opposition.

The original legislation was passed at the August 18, 2020 council meeting — before details of Daniel Prude’s death became public — and the City has not issued bonds nor signed any contracts related to this project, councilmembers say.

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The proposed legislation will repeal the $12.5 million in bonding for the project and will halt any awarding of contracts

“Much has changed in our community since we met in August to discuss this project,” Council President Scott said in a press release. “We learned of and saw the gruesome video of Daniel Prude’s death in March, this coupled with the recent retirements and voluntary demotions of the entire RPD Command Staff, has led the Council to reconsider the appropriateness of the project at this time.”  

“The vote last month was the culmination of more than five years of planning to create a five-section model of policing in Rochester. Since the vote, we learned of the tragic death of Daniel Prude while in police custody that occurred in March. This has caused a breach of trust in the community that makes it critical to repeal last month’s legislation, hold off on bonding for these dollars, and reassess the long-term plan,” said Councilmember Gruber in a press release.

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“I am incredibly grateful that we as a Council can reevaluate this project, at this critical time we need to take a pause and engage our community about ways to reimagine public safety for all in Rochester,” said Councilmember Lupien in a press release.

The City Council intends to vote on this legislation at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

Back in August, council voted six to three to approve the station:

“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.”

“A lot of people in the community do want to see more police on the streets, building relationships, making connections, but this building won’t necessarily do that,” said Lupien, who voted no on the proposal, back August 18. “So, we need to shift resources to funding those things that prevent violent crime.”

Proposed legislation

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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