"Cool Down" detail begins
Posted at: 07/03/2012 11:44 PM | Updated at: 07/03/2012 11:47 PM
It's been a violent year so far in Rochester, especially when it comes to gun violence. But Rochester Mayor Tom Richards, and Chief James Sheppard announced a new "Cool Down" detail in response to the 95 shootings and 21 homicides that have happened so far in 2012.
Tuesday night, officers were out in force, News10NBC was with some officers as they patrolled. The tactical unit was looking specifically for guns and drugs, which are believed to be the root of much of the violence in the city.
At the same time Tuesday night, Operation Impact was also in effect. Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies were also out assisting Rochester Police.
It was a bit quieter than usual, but officers were still busy and residents say they are glad to see them out in force. Juan Guzman, a store owner, says it is tough to deal with people hanging on the corner.
"When they're hanging out on this corner the customer won't come in," says Guzman. "Cause they see a lot of people hanging out on the corner...and that's not good for business."
Police are stopping people for even the smallest violation and it's working. One woman they pulled over was driving with three small children with none of them in car seats. Officers let her off with a warning and Lt. Eric Paul says it's not just about arrest, it's about building rapport with the community. Creating relationships that in the future may help them solve crime.
Lt. Paul says "That is probably the most important element of what we do out here. If we don't have the community backing us up, we're just spinning our wheels. There's so much going on right now and we need a lot of assistance. We need the help of those community members to make those 911 calls. We can't wait til it happens to show up...we need to know ahead of time...and that's what we depend on."
Chief Sheppard didn't say how long the detail will last, but residents can expect it to continue for some time based on the amount of shootings and homicides so far this year.