Good Question: Rochester police at East Ave Wegmans

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Here’s a good question about Rochester police and Wegmans. This comes up from time to time. Why does RPD keep a detail at the East Avenue store?

A week ago, Rochester police announced a new partnership to help with a critical shortage of officers. State troopers and county deputies coming in to help the city fight crime.

RELATED: Multi-agency effort to address record crime announced

Soon after, I got these messages from viewers:

"If the city is so short-staffed, why aren’t our uniforms on the streets? I think Danny can afford his own security staff."

"If the staffing shortage is so bad why is RPD able to let Wegmans pay to have an RPD officer in a patrol car in the East Avenue parking lot every night?"

This detail costs thousands upon thousands of dollars each month. It’s been going on for several years too. So I sent your good questions to RPD. Here’s the response:

"Wegmans on East Ave. is a reimbursed contract that is run out of our special events office. Any officer working this detail is on overtime as an extra shift similar to any other special event in the city. We have numerous reimbursed special event contracts such as the Blue Cross Arena, Frontier Field, Walmart, Public Market, etc. We do not, and will not, pull officers from patrol assignments to cover the East Ave Wegmans or other contract events."

So Wegmans picks up the tab. Why doesn’t the company just pay for its own private security?

Wegmans told me, "We hire law enforcement officers at a variety of our stores and put a great deal of time and thought into each store’s security program. Our stores are well-staffed with attentive employees and in addition, we have a well-trained, proactive asset protection team that works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to deter and prosecute unlawful behavior."