ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — With arrests made in two of the six shootings Rochester saw on Mother’s Day, police see most gun violence occurring in the same neighborhoods, making for an adjustment to patrol tactics.
In the past year, the city has been given a bad reputation for record-breaking trends in homicides and shootings. But when you break down the data, almost all of it happens on a handful of streets.
To narrow down what communities are seeing the most with illegal gun trafficking, Rochester Police are partnering with Monroe County Deputies and State Police to increase patrols in areas with the most shootings.
“We’re looking at identifying offenders,” Lt. Greg Bello of Rochester Police said. “Known firearm-related offenders and getting those guns from those known offenders. So, we are looking at precision policing focusing on those people creating the issues.”
Out of all the zip codes in Rochester, three have experienced 72% of all the homicides so far in 2022. RPD reports almost shooting happens in just 11% of the city’s street segments. Showing public safety is strong. But some communities need more help.
“As a community, we all need to come together and try to help those areas to get out of this cycle of violence that keeps hitting them,” Lt. Bello continued. “Beyond a police department focus, they need a holistic approach from everybody.”
“11% of the neighborhoods where those shootings are occurring are dealing with issues of poverty, systemic racism, traumatic events,” Victor Saunders, Advisor on Violence Prevention Programs to the Mayor, added. “For a lot of young people that have grown up in those neighborhoods. As well as the adults.”
As Rochester Police increase its presence with partnering agencies, advisors for Mayor Malik Evans like Victor Saunders want people to know their communities can become safer places if they join programs aimed at counseling people to de-escalate disputes.
“It is not something that is taken lightly,” Saunders said. “We understand the fear and trauma of being brought up by someone’s home getting shot up. But if you call us at 585-428-HELP we might be able to put you in contact with individuals that can assist you.”
This new adjustment in patrolling certain areas of the city is also in part to RPD facing staff shortages. The department needs 90 more officers to police the city. Right now, 22 are set to graduate from the academy.