ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The search for a permanent police chief in Rochester is moving forward with the mayor’s office creating an online survey people are urged to weigh in on. With violent crime continuing to plague the streets of Rochester, community activists hope a new hire will better public safety and trust in the department.
Anyone who’s been calling for police reform in Rochester now has a say in who the next police chief should be. As the nationwide search continues, Mayor Malik Evans is calling on the public to send in what they feel are the best qualifications to get the job done.
Not even a full month into the new year, Rochester has seen four homicides and at least 16 shootings devastate people’s lives. Activists and those who work with the police want a new Chief to come in with plans on how to stop it.
“Having that permanent police chief is going to be extremely crucial to developing and implementing a plan that not only keeps our neighborhoods safe but guides our youth,” Save Rochester Organizer Mike Johnson said.
“Having a chief who again is an innovator and community based,” Rochester Police Accountability Board Director Conor Reynolds added. “Community focused is going to be the way we see permanent reductions in both violence and increases in public safety and trust in our public safety system.”
Just like in the survey set up on the city’s website asking people to fill out what qualities the ideal candidate for the new head of RPD. Those with Save Rochester and the Police Accountability Board want to focus on priorities and leadership skills the new chief brings to keep the city safe.
“Things like practices with transparency, openness, prior police chief experience, experience recruiting and retaining quality personnel,” Johnson listed. “These are some of the criteria I feel the public should be aware of.”
“We need someone who is focused on our community and thinking about public safety in innovative ways,” Reynolds told us. “Who is always willing to be transparent and open in all things policing.”
To get a full scope at how Rochester feels to better the department and public safety, Mayor Evans urges everyone to go online and fill out the survey.
“It is important for everyone to make sure their voices are heard,” Mayor Evans stated. “This will allow us to be able to create a profile for our community of the type of person we are interested in pursuing. This deliberate process makes sure we are dotting all our eyes and crossing our T’s.”
This survey will remain on the City of Rochester’s website until Feb. 4.
As the search continues Mayor Evans remains confident in Interim Chief David Smith to continue leading RPD in a professional manner. And thanks him for stepping up to serve the city.