New horizon: Mayor-elect Malik Evans addresses growing violence and outlines vision for the city

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The city of Rochester will have a new mayor in January.

As Mayor-elect Malik Evans steps into his new role, he’s taking time to outline his vision for the city. Additionally, with the growing violence in the city and the recent news of a 15-year-old shot and killed, Evans is adamant about implementing change. News10NBC’s Jenny Ly breaks down what the current city councilor has in store.

"Violence, economic development and public safety go together like and a horse and carriage," Evans said."That is the number one priority to address. People need to be able to feel safe in their community."

With more violent attacks, often involving young teens, Mayor-elect Evans says it’s about working together and working with youth.

"If young people are given the opportunities, they are less likely to get involved in violence. Think about if a young person had so much to do that they wouldn’t think about picking up that gun or doing whatever it is as it relates to violence. You’ve seen it in the schools – the violence is infiltrating there, he added.

With election day behind him, Evans reiterated his campaign promises and plans to build bridges within the community.

"An Evans administration will be intentional, creative and bold yet realistic given the city’s fiscal, physical and people resources," Evans said.

At a press conference the day after election day and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello standing by his side, Evans was vocal and adamant about strengthening the partnership with the county.

"We have to have a strong county and strong region in order for Rochester to thrive, and we won’t just look at ourselves as just an island of isolation," Evans said.

The two leaders said since the primary they have been in constant communication about developing a strategic plan to implement change.

"We need new leadership who are going to work together to solve our challenges," Bello said. "Challenges like recovering from the COVID-driven economic downturn, violence and crime, the opioid epidemic that’s ravaging families on every corner of this county and creating opportunity for a better quality of life for everyone."

Also on the list of changes is the search for a new police chief. Evans says his team will be conducting a nationwide search.

"They have to be able to have the respect of their men and women in uniform but just as important they have to be able to be a collaborator and they have to be able to have the respect of the individuals that are on the street. Lastly, they have the respect of officers, police captains and establish credibility in the community," Evans added.

In addition to a new police chief, new personnel announcements should be made by the beginning of December, according to Evans.