Violence Prevention Summit brings national experts to Rochester

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Mayor Lovely Warren and leaders from across the Rochester area held a Violence Prevention Summit Thursday. The goal was to develop a city-wide approach to reducing shootings and other forms of violence.

There were people there from across the community and across the country to share their thoughts on measures the public and leaders can make to push back on the spike in violence. The question was what violence prevention programs will work for Rochester? The problem isn’t unique but every city is.

“If you keep doing the same thing expecting different results, that’s insanity,” says City Councilman Willie Lightfoot.

Lightfoot says all roads cannot lead back to City Hall. He asks the community what are we all doing to help end the violence in area neighborhoods. New long-term approaches are needed.

“And we’re bringing the communication gap between the community and the services the city offers,” he says.

DeVone Boggan is a violence prevention expert from California. He says engaging the people at the very center of firearm activity is one solution.

“Quite frankly in most cities that are impacted by such violence, those very individuals are not being engaged by any public or community-based system of care. It’s going to be very difficult to do good work that delivers optimal outcomes in cities when you’re not engaging those very people at the center of it,” he says,

Legislator Sabrina LaMar says today she wants to hear evidence-based solutions and get input from the public.

“Well, the community is scared. I think we all are. This is going on across the nation, and there isn’t one way or one reason why it’s going on,” says LaMar.

The Mayor saying whatever comes out of this, if anything, needs to have a long-term impact to cut down on the violence.

“So we know that if we don’t stay with it, then we will revert back to the way things were,” she says.

The pandemic she says, crumbling partnerships with police, the public, and programs. “We know what worked in the past in bringing crime down to 30-year lows,” she says, adding, “Having these conversations this is the first one, there will be many that other people can attend, and we want people to get involved.”

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