Alliance of law enforcement, community leaders aims to start new era of community policing

Updated: June 29, 2020 06:40 PM
Created: June 29, 2020 06:33 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Local law enforcement and community leaders are hoping to start a new relationship and a new era, starting now.

In a time of intense friction between police and communities, a broad coalition of them Monday announced the start of a new Monroe County Alliance for Transformation of Community and Police.


The initiative was unveiled at the Rochester Helping Hands Missionary Church.

Its mission has a targeted time frame of two years, to usher in a transformation to community policing 

The alliance includes a broad spread of faith and community groups and representatives of every single law enforcement agency in Monroe County.

The MCAT-CP is intended to overcome years of people having trouble looking at and dealing with people who are different which

Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary says is a problem but is no "destiny."

After years of initiatives like this, the alliance aims for measurable goals.

In the next three months, organizers say it'll evaluate how a transformation can be done.

In six months, it will seek to develop and start implementing plans.

"The idea of demilitarizing the police department, and also the idea of law and order we need to rethink. And talk. to formulate a partnership with the community through community policing engagement and philosophy." Rev. Marlowe Washington, Seneca United Methodist Church said.

"We are going to be institutionalizing them, forcing those relationships to occur,” Sheriff Todd Baxter said. “Because no one wants to do them in the first place. Everyone is defensive. Everyone is negative. Let's force them. Then after about 20 minutes, everybody breaks down barriers and we are laughing with each other. That's some of the intentional things we are going to do are that simple."

"I didn't join this for another press conference,” Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said. “I joined this to see some results, as did all my colleagues. We are here to get something done. And I can promise you that." 

The alliance is supposed to get down to business immediately, starting with town hall meetings.

The first one will be this Wednesday in Rochester.

The next will be in Irondequoit on July 16. 

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