ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new Rochester Police Department bus has been catching the attention of many. It’s colorful and has the city skyline printed on the sides. If you’ve seen it around the community or social media – you may be wondering what its uses are.
It’s a brand new community affairs bus
“We started working on purchasing it a year and a half ago, took a little while to get it but we got it,” said Capt. Mark Mura. The bus is not funded through tax payer dollars, but rather asset forfeiture funds.
Its uses range from bureau barbecues, to clothing drives, to trauma support – a use that would explain its presence at a recent homicide in the city.
“Its secondary use for the vehicle is for a mobile trauma unit … this vehicle responds to all homicides,” he said.
City Council member Willie Lightfoot had advocated and worked on implementing the idea of a mobile trauma unit a few years ago. He noticed how areas in New York City used them, and was inspired to bring something similar to Rochester.
It’s a concept brand new to the city.
“We noticed in Brooklyn or the Bronx, they had a mobile trauma unit to respond to homicides and trauma events within the bureau, so I reached out to elected officials there got some info, talked to individuals working in that space there, advocated hard for Rochester to get a mobile trauma unit,” said Lightfoot.
Before the bus – several different groups would respond on scenes including Lightfoot’s Coalition Against Gun Violence, but he says there was never consistency or organization. Now there is – and it includes a team of licensed professionals.
As an advocate against gun violence – Lightfoot says he wants 2021 to be a year of proactiveness when it comes to gun violence.
To know this bus will be involved in making that difference, is going to go a long way.
“Of course I wish the service was never needed … but it’s good to know work of collective, The Roc Against Gun Violence Coalition, partnership with Mayor, partnership with Department of Recreation and Human Services, as well as the police department come to full fruition is exciting,” said Lightfoot.
The bus also helps with Operation Safe Child – parents can bring their children in to a small room in the back to get Identification and fingerprinted in case they ever come up missing.