RPD increases presence following Rochester's night of violence

September 21, 2018 05:32 PM

The interim police chief launched a plan of attack against recent violence in the City of Rochester.

On Thursday, a string of shootings cost two young men their lives.

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On Friday morning, Interim Police Chief Mark Simmons called the incident unacceptable."These families are left in pain. A family member no longer coming home. A father, a brother, a loved one. I'm in pain, I'm hurting from it," said Chief Simmons.

Those men have been identified as 24-year-old Markwaun Williams and 26-year-old Justin Siler.

Friday morning, Chief Simmons met with his command staff to make a strategic plan to address the violence. 

"While I won't get into every detail, I will say community members should expect to see an increase in vehicular patrols, foot patrols, the use of our tactical unit addressing open-air drug sales, the use of our narcotic unit addressing areas we know drugs and violent, criminal activity takes place," he stated.

He goes on to say that even with a historic low amount of crimes in the city, it's not enough.

"I'm going to stand here and promise the community that RPD will do its part to make sure the community is even safer than it is today," expressed Chief Simmons. 

He is also calling on the community for their help, urging neighbors to report criminal activity to 911. He even sent a direct message to those responsible for the violence.

"RPD will be coming for you. RPD will come for you. This will not stand. Families should not have to live in fear and duck when they hear gunshots on their street. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," he stressed.  

He added that RPD will use every resource at its disposal to "move those criminals from the street who choose to terrorize their own neighborhoods."

Chief Simmons explained officers will be working overtime, paid in part by grant funding, to work saturation details in 'chronic crime areas.'

Officers with the Community Affairs Bureau were out walking near Wilkins Street on Friday handing out brochures and striking up conversation with neighbors. 

They want to increase their positive presence while making themselves approachable to neighbors in need.

The interim chief says RPD will continue to get guns off the street, saying so far this year RPD has removed more than 800 guns from city streets.


Stephanie Robusto

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