Rochester taking new approach to violent offenders and illegal guns |

Rochester taking new approach to violent offenders and illegal guns

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: June 25, 2021 05:17 AM
Created: June 24, 2021 11:10 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan says the impact of gun violence in the city is overwhelming. 

Effective immediately, the department is taking a different approach as they work toward getting violent gun offenders off the streets.

Everyone from the department, local government, faith leaders, and Rochester residents say "enough is enough" and these shootings must stop now.

Gun-related violence has become a daily occurrence in the city of Rochester. The Rochester Police Department developed a new initiative to help end some of the violence. Herriott-Sullivan says the department will not only target violent gun offenders but go after these criminals federally.

"The goal for me is simple, that when people are arrested for these violent gun-type incidents, I want them to stay in jail," Herriott-Sullivan said. "It's that simple."

Police officers will now be joined by deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The extra manpower will help specifically target known violent criminals in the city's most troubled neighborhoods. Other agencies are helping out as well.

"The New York State Police, they're overwhelmingly stepped up to offer resource," Herriott-Sullivan said. "The U.S. Marshals are also going to be working with us."

She has also received support from both Mayor Lovely Warren and the Rochester City Council.

"I want the state, the nation, and the president, and everybody else," Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott said. "I want all the help that we can get, but I definitely want the citizens of Rochester to step up."

Democratic mayoral primary winner and City Councilman Malik Evans ran his campaign on many principles. Besides economic empowerment, bringing more jobs to the city, he wants to keep illegal guns out of the city.

"The one message I will say to folks is that the police alone will not solve these problems," Evans said. "The police alone, there's just not enough police officers, and they don't have the intelligence of where these guns are coming from, by themselves, so they have to have partners."

Free The People ROC released this statement in response to the chief calling in the FBI:

"We are devastated by the ongoing incidents of gun violence in our community. Predictably, the neighborhoods we see most affected by intercommunal violence are those that have suffered historical disinvestment, resulting in concentrated poverty and a crushing lack of access to resources. 

Our communities need help and support, not the FBI. The FBI is an organization who has historically destroyed Black and brown communities and dismantled Black organizations working to protect our community. Through the work of violence prevention organizations like Advance Peace, we know that when people at risk of being involved in gun violence are provided with mentoring, opportunities to earn livable wages, heal trauma and learn alternatives to violence, the trajectory of their lives drastically change.  

We call for the implementation of Advance Peace in our city, as they’ve been successful in reducing gun violence without police in Richmond, California by 86% over a 10-year period.  We deserve long-term investments that actually interrupt the cycle of violence and address the root causes, not more police and incarceration."

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