Council members ask RPD Chief about violence in city ahead of confirmation vote

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Members of City Council asked Rochester Police Chief David Smith about addressing rising violence in the city and other topics at his Monday night confirmation hearing.

City Council will vote on Tuesday on whether to confirm interim Chief Smith as the permanent chief. Smith has served as the interim chief since last October

Each Council Member had 10 minutes to ask Chief Smith various questions before the official vote, which will be held Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. Council Members Kim Smith, Jose Peo, and Mary Lupien were not present at the confirmation.

It started with an opening statement from Mayor Malik Evans saying it was an honor and privilege to present Chief David Smith as his nominee and that he embodies all of the qualities a chief should have.

Many questions from the Council focused on addressing city violence, overtime costs, addressing that crime is equitable between communities, and addressing Officer wellness, and morale.

“The department continues to suffer as a whole from some form of compassion fatigue which needs to be addressed and we are trying to take strides to recognize that. The recent events on July 21st were obviously a very heavy hit for the department and for morale but we have to keep moving forward,” said Chief David Smith.”

Chief Smith said he is proud of the work that they have done so far, since he has stepped into the role, including how they conduct investigations, recruitment efforts, and working on internal affairs. But, he does say more work needs to be done, and he thinks he can be the one to help guide the department in making big changes.