Federal nonviolence task force hosts community conversation in Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)—— As Rochester deals with more gun violence, community members Tuesday had the opportunity to join the conversation about what to do about it.

The Federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response (VIPER) Task Force held an open community conversation as part of its 60-day mission to curb the trend. The event was hosted by United States Attorney for the Western District of New York James P. Kennedy Jr, who oversees the force.

Several community members spoke up about the need for unity.

So far this year, 40 people have died in Rochester due to violence, 27 of those instances involved a gun. As of just a week ago, the city has had 185 shootings.

The task force Friday announced it has made 138 arrests between Buffalo and Rochester since it first started on July 7. Locally, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which is a part of the task force, held its own conversation Monday night.

The task force also includes the Rochester Police Department, who some community members said was not prominently featured at the conversation. RPD officer Moses Robinson was reportedly in attendance.