City leaders are making changes after a spike in shootings in the last week. Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester police chief La’Ron Singletary, and community advocates talked on Friday about how to stop gun violence.
The message given by city leaders was that the community needs to start looking after each other and handling conflict in other ways than violence.
Chief Singletary said gun violence is just a symptom of the bigger problem- conflict resolution. Just this past week, there have been four homicides and eight shootings in the city.
“We have a culture amongst our young people where not only is it acceptable to solve conflicts with violence, but it is expected. We must change that narrative,” said Chief Singletary.
The chief said officers are focusing on early dispute intervention, firearm hotspot policing, and targeting high-risk firearm offenders. He also said they’ve increased police presence in the past few days and were able to get nine guns off the street.
Mayor Warren and anti-violence advocates said if you see something, say something.
“Today is not the day to just look the other way because someone can actually lose their life. We have seen in the last couple weeks the complete disregard for human life, targeted disregard for human life and we want that to stop,” she said.
“People might think I’m looking at you because I don’t like you, but it may not be that way. It may be you look nice today, open up your mouth and say, ‘you look nice today’,” said community advocate Ciecrra Maybell
If you have any information about a dispute that could lead to a shooting, the city asks you to call intervention specialists or RPD.