RPD outside five city high schools after shooting last week
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Next week the Rochester City Council will formally vote on whether RPD Officers will be stationed on school grounds on a more permanent basis. This is in response to last week’s shooting outside of Franklin High School. A 16-year-old would have been executed on the doorstep of the school had the attacker’s gun not jammed.
News10NBC talked to police about their requested presence at several city schools. The hope is that this police presence will deter violence on campuses, and help students and staff feel safe.
“Our response is that we’re going to put police cars there. We’re going to put police officers there to prevent more violence from occurring, any potential violence from occurring,” said RPD Lt. Greg Bello.
He says when it comes to violent crimes on school grounds, armed police are better equipped than security officers to handle it.
“School security is phenomenal. They have their school safety officers. They do a great job of helping to keep the peace in the schools, and help with the kids, but they’re not equipped to handle gun fire,” said Bello.
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Last week the Rochester City School Board of Education voted unanimously to have police outside five high schools, after a person fired shots as three students were entering the Franklin Educational Campus building Thursday morning. Police took immediate action following this incident.
“Our officers are already there. We’ve started, it was approved by the school board last week. Our Chief has authorized our officers to be there, and our officers are out there now,” said Bello.
Officers have been stationed at Franklin, Edison, Wilson, East, and Northeast Prep. Working four hour shifts, and covering both the start and end of the school day. The Rochester School Board already voted for, and budgeted, $370,000 to fund it.
“This is gonna pay the overtime for those officers to take these shifts, to go out there and protect those schools. While at the same time, we are not pulling officers answering 911 phone calls,” said Bello.
He also tells us the increase in police presence is more than just showing up at these schools.
“We want them out of their vehicles talking to kids. Talking to the students helping them to feel safe when they walk into school. Knowing that the officer is out there to help protect them going to school,” said Bello.
RPD Officers already filled every available overtime slot at these schools for the rest of the month. Bello says the school board paid for their services for the rest of the school year.