Chief wants changes to student bus transfers at Liberty Pole
Posted at: 09/24/2013 5:39 PM
| Updated at: 09/24/2013 7:01 PM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
Hundreds of city high school and middle school students are dropped off at the Liberty Pole downtown at the same time every day after school. The results can sometimes be chaos.
The chaos started Monday afternoon on East Main Street after police heard a gunshot while they were trying to break up a fight.
The problems start when the city school students transfer from the bus that took them from school to the bus that takes them home.
Chief James Sheppard, Rochester Police, said, “In the summer, it's a beautiful place to be. We don't have that problem then. It's the volume of kids Monday through Friday. That is the problem.”
Between 11:00a.m. and 3:00 p.m. everyday, there are 39 police officers and their supervisors assigned to Main Street near the Liberty Pole. Even that doesn't stop all the mayhem. On Monday, when several officers were trying to break up a fight, police say they heard a gunshot. No arrest for that yet. After that, they tried to break up the crowds of young kids on Main Street. News10NBC saw them arrest at least three people.
Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden says one of the solutions is to stop the need to transfer students all together by going back to strict neighborhood schools.
Adam McFadden, City Councilman, said, “And you look at the age of some of the kids we're talking about, there are kids as young as 12-years-old that have to take a bus, a public bus with no parent watching them or anything who have to come through downtown where shots are fired and people are fighting. Would you allow your 12-year-old to do that? I wouldn't.”
The district says only 25 percent of the students who take RTS buses transfer downtown. The rest have direct routes to their homes. Every student in kindergarten through grade six take yellow school buses. It is a complicated problem involving a specific group of students. Chief Sheppard and Adam McFadden say they're trying to have a meeting with the superintendent about this soon.
As for Monday's shooting, police say they are looking for a suspect and they're searching their surveillance cameras to see if they can see where he ran.