Rochester City Council approves police presence outside five city high schools

[anvplayer video=”5159212″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It’s been a heated debate, but Tuesday, the votes were cast.

Rochester City Council voted 8-1 to approve police presence outside five city high schools. The vote Tuesday to fund overtime for police became a pressing issue after shots were fired at a 16-year-old student outside Franklin High School.

The vote will keep officers outside on school grounds for the rest of the school year. News10NBC was at Tuesday’s meeting and has reaction to the vote. The City Council has spoken. Five high schools will have police presence during arrival and dismissal times on a permanent basis during the school year.

Those in favor of this don’t understand why this is even up for debate. Those who are against it say this isn’t fixing the problems but placing a bandaid on it. The majority of the City Council approved an overtime budget to have police present at Franklin, Edison, Wilson, East and Northeast Prep high schools.

Police will be stationed outside in four-hour increments at arrival and dismissal times through June 22. The overtime pay is set at $84 an hour, a price City Council South District Representative Lashay Harris believes is worth a safe education for kids.

“I am going by what my constituents conveyed to me, but not only that but the city as a whole being objective and looking at what’s important first,” Harris said. “You can’t hide a dead body, and if we have dead children that’s happening at our schools, that can not happen.”

Some of Harris’ colleagues don’t believe having police outside school grounds is the answer to stopping the violence. Stanley Martin was the only council representative who voted against the policing budget and says it’s time to address the root of the problem. She asked the mayor will the names and badge numbers of officers on school grounds be shared with parents.

“So I’m taking that as a ‘no,’” Martin said. “I was hoping to be able to support this. I do represent constituents that want to know what police officers are interacting with students. And again as I said I don’t know how many ways I can say it. It’s a simple yes or no!”

Parents Alberto Delgado and Johanna DeJesus, whose daughter was caught in the line of fire during the shooting at Franklin High School, believe having police present will help save lives.

“There should be police outside, inside for the safety of kids,” they said. “That’s what’s going to keep them safe. If kids know that police are there they won’t be bringing guns to school. they won’t be coming to try to shoot kids there because they know police are there.”

The budget approved for the overtime pay of officers will be covered at a price tag of more than $300,000. The school district will pay for it.

More about Franklin High School incident: