Proposed RPD substation could displace Beechwood residents

February 19, 2019 08:11 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) --  Plans to build a Rochester police substation could force people out of their homes.

The proposed substation would be built in the Beechwood neighborhood on Laura and East Main streets. Residents that live in the area would have to be relocated to accommodate this new plan.

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Right now, city officials are renting space for a substation on the east side of the city in Village Gate Square. City officials say they have been searching for a permanent spot and Beechwood is ideal.

The project would cost more than $30 million dollars to complete. City leaders say the money has already been set aside.

The substation would be built in Rochester City Councilwoman Elaine Spaull's district. She says after the plan was introduced last month, she started getting letters of support, but she has also heard a lot of concerns about relocating residents in the area.

"Beechwood had the first homicide of 2019, and another one last week," Spaull said.

"The neighborhood deserves to have a strong police presence. We can do that and still honor and respect the tenants that live there."

Spaull says city leaders are still finalizing plans for what will happen to the people who will be relocated because of this project. Spaull says those people will not be put out on the street.

"I'm sensitive to people worrying about people getting evicted, losing their housing," Spaull said. "We've got to do a better job talking about that and making sure the public understands."

A spokeswoman for Mayor Lovely Warren sent the following statement to News10NBC:

"The proposed police substations will further Mayor Warren's commitment to community policing, connecting our officers to the people they serve. By putting the police back into our neighborhoods, we will be able to improve police-community relations and increase police visibility, which will help us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.

Thanks in part to Mayor Warren's investment in measures such as neighborhood-based police sections, body cameras and Clergy on Patrol, crime in Rochester continues to drop.

The substations will house more than just police. They will anchor their respective neighborhoods, housing the Neighborhood Service Centers and also providing community meeting space.

Mayor Warren's administration will work one on one with any tenants affected by the construction to ensure that they find new housing and are fully compensated for moving expenses."

City leaders will be discussing the project at the city council meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 

If you'd like to speak, call (585) 428-7421 before 5:30 p.m. to get on the agenda or email before 2 p.m.


Kaci Jones

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