ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Local community members, along with the Rochester Police Department, are coming together in hopes their message of responsibility and peace after the Puerto Rican festival will resonate with its residents.
“This is an effort to enjoy the celebration, enjoy both community and police, and feel that we will reduce the apprehensiveness and simply enjoy together while respecting law,” said Jackie Ortiz, Councilmember of the Rochester City Council and a member of the Northeast Safety Committee.
Details on a safety plan weren’t immediately given, but the Rochester Police Chief reassured the community safety is their priority that weekend.
“The people in the neighborhoods, the festival goers and some of the activity you will see along Clinton Avenue that will be new this year that have not been introduced in the last couple of years,” said Chief La’Ron Singletary.
The Northeast Safety Committee came to form after post-Puerto Rican festival arrests last year— 20 people were detained along North Clinton Avenue. Since then, the committee has been meeting with community members and sent out a survey that guided them to muster possible solutions to curb the violence. They’ve also been meeting with city leaders and have their support with new ideas to curb the disturbances.
NSC said they’ll be going door to door in the North Clinton neighborhood to share their message leading up to the day of the festival. As well as joining forces with ambassadors from the ROC Against Gun Violence.
“Community faces, community leaders, people they know and trust to have a conversation with them about how to have this day and be safe,” said Willie Lightfoot, Vice President of the Rochester City Council.