Mayor Warren declares local State of Emergency for Rochester following recent violence
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren Friday declared a local State of Emergency for the city following ongoing violence in what has been the deadliest year on record.
In a release, the city says the declaration will help the city get access to additional resources to get people committing violence off the streets.
According to Warren, Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed to provide additional New York State Troopers to the area, a move Warren says will build on the Federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response (VIPER) Task Force, whose 60-day effort to curb violence ended in September.
"These individuals have already committed crimes, are wanted for additional crimes, and are most likely to be perpetrating the violence we’re seeing today," the release said "This action ensures we are doing all we can to remove these violent criminals from our streets."
Gun Violence Emergency Proclamation 11.12.21 FINAL by News10NBC on Scribd
As mentioned, the city is in the middle of its deadliest year in terms of homicides, with 71 people dead. Rochester is also coming off a Thursday where two people were shot and killed on Chestnut Street and a man was shot and beaten to death near the RTS Transit Center. Another man was shot and is fighting for his life.
BREAKING: @lovelyawarren has declared a state of emergency in the City of #ROC due to on-going gun violence. @GovKathyHochul has agreed to provide additional @nyspolice to Rochester to beef up the U.S. Marshalls, RPD and Monroe County Sheriff fugitive task force. @news10nbc— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) November 12, 2021
Warren said the city has also asked the state, and Monroe County, for more mental health and "violence disruption" resources.
"We also need our residents to step up and protect their neighborhoods as well. If you see something, say something, call 911 and report it," the release said. "None of us can tolerate what is happening. The costs are, and have been, too great."
This is where one of the acts of violence occurred this week. There is still police measurement tape in the lobby and a piece of dry wall with a hole in it. pic.twitter.com/tepLR7e7GH— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) November 12, 2021
The proclamation included within the release said the city has "maximized" the use of its local resources, and promised to address the violence in a "holistic" manner, though no specifics were given beyond adding the state resources.
Earlier this year, former Gov.Andrew Cuomo declared gun violence in New York a "disaster emergency" that promised to make a seven-point plan that included $138.7 million in funding for various initiatives. That was when Rochester had just 38 homicides. As we previously reported, the agency that was supposed to be created to direct those initiatives was not set up.
A spokesperson from Hochul’s office says the launch is in its initial stages.
Mayor-Elect Malik Evans has spoken of his plans to address violence, as he’s said he too, would enact an SOE. Following Election Day, Evans said he was "adamant" in implementing change.
As for the city’s declaration, it came out roughly two hours before Rochester Police are expected to hold a news conference to discuss the violence. Police recently held a news conference to address rising violence in teenagers and have continued to express frustration over the state’s bail reform laws.
Advocates say the legislation was badly needed to help people in underprivileged communities. They say it’s prevented a two-tiered justice system where poor people who haven’t committed any crime can’t pay to get out of jail while wealthy people can.
Mayor Lovely Warren was not made available Friday. Interim Rochester Police Chief David Smith held a news conference Friday afternoon, flanked by members of other law enforcement agencies and City Council V.P. Willie Lightfoot.
They recapped what the city has done to date and how it plans to use these additional resources to "surgically" attack the worst offenders. The chief called on families to pay attention to what their kids are doing, indicating a lot of these disputes start on social media before spilling out into the streets.
Councilor Lightfoot called the violence "domestic terrorism" and said "we need to take our city back."
We’ll have much more on this story coming up on News10NBC at 5 p.m.