RPD reflects on increased police presence amid violent weekend

[anvplayer video=”5188135″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Following up on last weekend’s violence — 13 people were shot in Rochester between Thursday and Sunday. 

Most of the violence happened on North Clinton Avenue. 

Police responded by massively stepping up their presence throughout the city last weekend. News10NBC’s Hailie Higgins talked with police Wednesday about that jump in manpower. 

Police told News10NBC that what they did last weekend is something they do every year — but, they can only swing it once a year.

Keeping hundreds of officers on deck and extending many officers’ hours well beyond an eight hour day is reserved exclusively for after the Puerto Rican Festival. 

But police stress the problems were not at the Puerto Rican Festival at Innovative Field. They stemmed from parties afterwards in the North Clinton Avenue neighborhood. 

Rochester Police prepared for it with extra officers Thursday and Friday night, but after seven people were shot in two days, they stepped up their approach. 

Hundreds of officers worked Saturday night. Fortunately, it was relatively peaceful — no shootings. By Sunday afternoon, those increased details were gone, which was the plan all along.

With some officers working as many as nineteen hours in a single day, police say massive details like those are not sustainable.

“Our authorized strength is over 720, and we’re sitting at 630 right now,” says Lt. Greg Bello with Rochester Police. “If we had 100 more officers we’d be able to do more details like that or of that size. But unfortunately our staffing doesn’t allow it.” 

Bello did take the time to note: In the last year — talking Aug. 9, 2022 to Aug. 9, 2023 — and comparing that to August 2021 to 2022, shootings and homicides are down. While those levels aren’t pre-2020, they do indicate a positive decline.