Created: January 20, 2022 06:05 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said it's been a sobering start to the year: A 14-year-old murdered, a 3-year-old shot, a 30-year-old man killed Wednesday night, and an 18-year-old arrested for shooting at police.
Thursday Evans said he's moving his violence prevention programs into the office of the mayor for better control and communication.
But we what you to see the part when the mayor talked directly to parents, kids and witnesses.
Mayor Malik Evans: "If you feel as though you are losing control of your child and you think they are involved in a group that might be steering them down the wrong direction, or you think they may have access to firearms... pick up the phone and call us. If you are a young person that feels as though you are being challenged or put in a position that will make you make a decision that you may not be able to take back, pick up the phone and call us. If you are a witness of a crime and you feel as though you are under attack and you need to get away for a while, you need to disappear because you feel the life of your family or you is threatened pick up the phone and call us."
Here are the numbers to put in your phone: The easiest to remember is 311. You can also call Pathways to Peace which is now in the mayor's office. It can be reached at 585-428-6339.
Brean: "Right now, do you think the city is a safe place to live, work and visit?"
Evans: "Absolutely. The city is a safe place to live work and visit because let's be clear -- if you look at the data and we look at the data all the time, the vast majority of people that commit most of the crimes it is a small, small percentage. So let's be clear: The city is a safe place."
Last year overall crime went down, but it was a record year for murders and shootings. Eighty-one people were killed in Rochester last year including a 15-year-old. Eight of the 81 victims were teenagers. Of the 345 people shot, including those who died, 69 were teens.
Under the mayor's centralization of violence prevention services, they will report directly to the mayor's special advisor Vic Saunders.
Saunders says he taught 14-year-old Julius Greer when he was at School Number 8.
On Jan. 2, Greer was shot and killed on his way to get dinner at his corner store.
Saunders: "That was the night before I was to start my current position and with that it definitely let me know that my focus has to be intentional and to the point."
Evans: "There's always going to be crime. I'm not going to say there's not going to be crime. But the question is—What are we doing to make sure we address it?"
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