ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Following two mass shootings across the country, in the span of two weeks, one can feel helpless.
But experts say each and every one of us can play a role in prevention moving forward, by speaking up when something feels off. A classic example of “see something, say something,” occurred on Friday, May 20; just a few days after the Buffalo massacre.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to RG&E on Scottsville Road, for the report of a possible active shooter.
It was a false alarm — but nearly four days later, a situation inside a Texas elementary school was not.
“As soon as [the shooter] got in the school, he started shooting children, teachers, whoever in his way, he was shooting everybody,” said Lt. Chris Olivarex, Texas Dept. of Public Safety.
Often times when a shooting, or mass shooting occurs, you hear officers ask for information.
Here in Rochester, a volunteer organization focuses on just that: anonymous tips.
Former police chief La’Ron Singletary and former state senator Joe Robach are new members of the team. They say the goal is to make it a safe space for people to want to come forward.
“There are people dying in this community, and we need people to step up,” said Singletary.
In 2022, there have been 25 homicides; 9 of which are open cases.
“One thing I’ve learned over 20 years of policing, is crime doesn’t solve itself, it takes great police work, tips, and witnesses,” said Singletary.
“We have had several good cases of success, we work in conjunction with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office,” said Robach. “You never know who could be the next victim.”
Tips range anywhere from robberies to violent crime. Robach said they’re even upping cash rewards; and so far, he said it’s working.
In the meantime, lawmakers continue to discuss gun violence legislation, but no matter what happens, you’ll always have situational awareness.
Officials allege the gunman in the Texas shooting sent private messages of threats online just moments before the attack. A similar case is suspected for the shooter in the Buffalo tragedy, as well.
To report an anonymous tip, you can call 911 or Rochester Crime Stoppers at (585) 423-9300.