Rochester Police release second wave of policy changes |

Rochester Police release second wave of policy changes

Updated: March 30, 2021 01:25 PM
Created: March 30, 2021 01:06 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Police Department Tuesday released its second wave of new policies for the department, which include how to handle mental hygiene detentions, and de-escalation.

The mental hygiene policy released details how members should handle a call, RPD says officers need to weigh if a situation warrants help from team members of both the City of Rochester's Person in Crisis team (PIC) or, Monroe County's Forensic Intervention Team (FIT). RPD says those teams can help with de-escalating a situation, and, if deemed safe, officers will help the team while a member conducts their own evaluation.

As for de-escalation, the department says tactics should be used "when it is safe and feasible to do so" to prevent a need to use force in response to resistance, among other guidelines.

Both updated policies go into effect immediately.

Earlier in March, the department issued a release saying the department's new duty to intervene policy and a reaffirmed partial ban on chokeholds would go into effect.

These changes come after national attention was drawn to police policies after the death of George Floyd, and on the Rochester Police Department especially after the death of Daniel Prude and recent incidents where a 9-year-old girl was pepper-sprayed, a woman was pepper-sprayed in front of her 3-year-old and an RPD officer shot a man who they say was armed and coming toward him with a large knife.

In the aftermath of those incidents, questions came up about where both FIT and PIC would fit in. Just days after Jones was shot, the county announced it was boosting its staff  Rochester's Police Accountability Board later held a hearing with the PIC team as the board continues its investigation into the department's handling of mental health calls.

Full policies can be found here for mental hygiene detention, and de-escalation.

According to the department, policy adjustments on use of force, and juvenile detention will be announced at some point.

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