RPD increases patrols on East Avenue for Labor Day weekend
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There is a big, visible presence of Rochester Police Officers patrolling the East Avenue bar district this weekend.
They tell News10NBC it’s part of a plan to keep things safe and under control for Labor Day weekend. If you happen to be driving in the area of East and Alexander on Saturday night, you’ll see a ton of patrol cars and officers.
The bar district is right by the News10NBC station, and station employees have noticed there’s usually a police presence there every weekend. This weekend, it’s amped up by a lot. The reason has to do with five shootings on East Avenue in 2023 alone.
In the past few weeks alone, police have responded to a double shooting outside an East Avenue business where gunshots were fired. In January and May, there were homicides.
Keith Stith, Deputy Chief of Special Operations for RPD says the presence is important for keeping people safe.
Barricades come in handy for keeping lines in order, and traffic flowing. Now this is also a residential area, and Stith says people tend to forget that. He wants the community to keep that in mind when they head out for the night.
Russell Militello is a business owner, opening a VIP club next month. He says the area has been through a lot over the past few years, but has a lot of potential, especially with colleges nearby. In terms of safety, he plans on having a closed, locked-door venue, with six security guards operating at all times.
News10NBC’s Eriketa Cost asked him how he feels about the police presence.
“People tend to get a little intimidated by it because they come out and see all these cop cars, assume something is already happening and they’re trying to shut it down, or they’re just fearful something is going to happen. So, I think a lot of the time it turns people away when they see cop cars, all up and down the road,” Militello said.
“So, the message is simple, we out here, we aren’t going to put up with the nonsense that happened on East and Alexander. So we just want to let those individuals involved in that nonsense know that we are out here today,” said Stith.
And East Avenue isn’t the only detail for Labor Day weekend. Rochester Police are also amping up their presence at Durand beach.