Rochester police chief: ‘The violence is unacceptable’

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan held a press conference Tuesday to address recent city violence involving young people, and what the Rochester Police Department is doing to crack down on gun violence.

Earlier this week, an 11-year-old and 16-year-old were shot in separate city shootings. Police say both victims are currently recovering with non-life threatening injuries.

“This sort of violence is and will continue to be unacceptable,” Chief Herriott-Sullivan said. “A child sitting at home, watching TV, can’t be safe? It just speaks to the hear of why we’re here and why we work as hard as we do to address the situations and problems that are out there in our community.”

Police say both investigations remain ongoing.

“We are working with the district attorney to monitor repeat offenders, whatever we need to do to find out why things are happening the way they are,” Chief Herriott-Sullivan said. “We are focusing on known offenders. There’s a few reasons for that: One is that it targets the people who are responsible, the other is that people who are going about their lives, there should be minimal impact from them. This is something we heard from the community that’s a concern of theirs.”

It was a similar sentiment from last month. The police chief held a press conference in late March — after a string of city homicides — to say that the police department was focusing on repeat offenders.

“We’re going to do what we can until we’re able to have a major impact here,” Chief Herriott-Sullivan said. “If there are things we need to do to help the situation, we’re more than willing to do that. Just know that our methods are specific.”

The chief said officers were looking at people with a criminal history, and repeat offenders on gun violations, but adds that city violence is a problem that cannot be solved by the police department alone.

“When we’re looking at issues like this, we alone as a police department are not the answer,” Chief Herriott-Sullivan said. “If we were, we wouldn’t have these problems; crime would have been gone by now.”

As the police chief was holding the press conference, a large police presence responded to the area of Hudson Avenue and Gilmore Street on the city’s northeast side for an investigation.

The police chief was asked about new use of force guidelines for the department, which she says should be made public by next week.

Watch the full press briefing

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

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