Updated 07/03/2012 03:30 PM
'Cool Down Detail' Addresses Spike in Violence
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Since the beginning of June, Rochester has recorded eight homicides. That's an average of two per week. Overall, there have been 21 homicides this year; the result of increased gun violence. Police are again asking the community to help combat this reoccurring problem.
"We get what we accept. People talk about what happens in the city and what happens in the city is the fact that people choose not to be involved, people choose not to be witnesses, people choose not to snitch and we end up with what we end up with,” said Chief James Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department.
Police say this isn't necessarily a gang issue, but more about quarrels and disputes that lead to a violent conclusion because illegal guns are getting into the hands of the wrong people.
Police are increasing patrols in an effort to get those guns off the streets. They plan to strictly enforce all laws, from loitering to DWI stops in an effort to reduce the spike in violent crime.
"We have to be very proactive in our stops. We have to be proactive in our vehicle traffic enforcement, kids on their bikes; we just have to use the laws that are available so we can engage and take these weapons out of their hands,” Sheppard said.
Some believe these efforts may be a form of harassment and a violation of civil rights.
"The ultimate violation of your civil rights is to be shot to death. That's the ultimate violation of your civil rights,” said Tom Richards, (D), Rochester mayor. “People have the right to be out, they have the right to be about, and the police department will continue to respect that. But you don't have the right to shoot someone and you don't have the right to carry a gun that you have no right to carry. And you don't have the right to threaten people. That's not a civil rights violation."
Police will use the latest crime analysis information in determining where to place the added patrols.
The Cool Down detail will result in overtime for officers. Money from project impact will be used to pay for the added cost.