The mayor, police chief and city council are hitting the streets to reduce gun violence after a string of fatal shootings in the last few weeks.
Community leaders held a press conference Friday at the Portland Avenue Peace Garden on Rochester’s east side to encourage people to put down the guns and find another way to resolve problems.
Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said in the last week, nine illegal guns have been taken from criminals. While that’s a step in the right direction, there’s more work to be done.
Earlier this week, there were four homicides in four days.
So far this year, there have been 20 homicides in the city. Out of those 20, 70% involved guns.
Half of the homicides happened in the Clinton Section of the Rochester Police Department.
There are 12 open homicide cases.
City leaders want the community to start speaking out before these small fights turn into shootings.
“Conflict resolution is easy,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “We don’t want to stand and have to support another mother that has lost her son or another father lost his daughter or another child that has lost a loved one. We’ve had too many of them.”
“We’ve beefed up our presence in the police department, and now it’s time for the community to get involved and as you can see behind me’ we have that,” Singletary said. “I want to point out Roycroft and Portland. We’re doing some different things in our community. We’re doing crime prevention through environmental design. We’ve changed some of the streets to one-way streets to disrupt some of the activity that some of our criminal dealers are used to.”
Volunteers will be walking the streets Friday night in the Hudson and Roycroft area talking to people about conflict resolution and also praying for their safety.
Warren is also asking that people take time to pray for the city on Sunday.