ROCHESTER, N.Y. – (WROC) – The Rochester police union is criticizing a proposal to reorganize the Rochester Police Department. The proposal will have all RPD investigators working out of one headquarters.
Leaders say they have been thinking about the move for some time.
“The main reason we’re doing this is to be more efficient and more effective,” said Commander Joe Morabito, acting chief of the Rochester Police Department. We would have a better success rate with our investigations coming with a team approach.”
Police officials say they centralization is used in other cities like San Francisco. They say police departments who use centralization have a higher case closure rate.
“We’ll be able to better allocate our resources,” said Morabito. “We’ll be able to put the number of resources needed for a specific problem and put the right number to that problem.”
But police union president Mike Mazzeo disagrees.
In a letter to City Council yesterday, Mazzeo called the proposal a “giant step backward” and compared it to 1970’s era policing. He says the change would distance many community members from police.
“This is gonna be more difficult for the people in the neighborhoods to follow up on investigations in which they were victims of crimes,” said Mazzeo.
Mazzeo also says there was no input from actual investigators. He says the plan is ill-conceived and simply won’t work.
“If they do this the blame will come down to police officers,” said Mazzeo.
Right now there are 33 investigators on the force. The centralization will begin on Monday.
The communications director for the city of Rochester said in a statement that Mayor Lovely Warren has full confidence in Chief La’Ron Singletary to manage these changes within the department.