Rochester Police explain new "Cool Down Detail"
Posted at: 07/03/2012 2:26 AM
| Updated at: 07/03/2012 5:48 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
Rochester Police have a new detail aimed at keeping the streets of the city safe. t’s called the “Cool Down Detail” and its goal is to cut down on the violence in Rochester.
Tuesday morning, police released some alarming statistics about violence.
So far this year, there have been 95 shootings -- that's up from 55 at the same time last year.
Police say they will do whatever it takes to stop the spike in violence and that the community has a right to not only be safe, but feel safe also.
Officers will be upping patrols stopping more people on the streets and making more traffic stops to help do both.
People who live in some of the toughest areas of the city say bring in the police, it’s time for a change.
“I am really concerned about the children and ll the shootings and murders and things of that nature. It's like one day you can be okay and the next day you never know.” For the past five years, Doreen Brown has tried to take care of her neighborhood.
When News10NBC informed her of the police department’s “Cool Down Detail,” she was thrilled. “I would be very proud for that to happen. We care about out neighborhood, we care about our neighbors and we would love to have more patrols around here there is too much violence.”
The detail comes after a spike in violence in the City of Rochester. There have been more than 90 shootings and more than 20 homicides.
Brown said, “We have people that are terrified terrified. We try to stay together to keep peace. We don't want it to seem like we just a bad neighborhood with crime, but if we don't have help from the police, what are we to do?”
Police are taking to the streets, upping patrols and traffic stops in the most violent areas so they are more visible and have better access to information.
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard says they will be searching for guns and using any law they can to get them. “If you're riding a bike and it doesn't have a bell - we're going to stop you. Doesn't have lights -- we're going to stop you. Your tail light is out -- we're going to stop you. You’re on a corner and we think you're engaged in criminal activity -- we're going to stop you.”
When asked if this was a violation of civil rights the Rochester Mayor Tom Richards had a simple answer. “The ultimate violation of your civil rights is to be shot to death.”
Brown says if you aren’t doing anything wrong, there is no need to worry. “If that's what need be, because like I said, there are too many crimes and too many killings. We do need more help.”
The chief and mayor said today violence will only stop when the community steps up and works together with them.
Police say some of the reason for the spike in violence is the weather is warmer and more people are out but say they aren’t making any excuses – the violence needs to stop.