National Night Out helps police departments build relationships in neighborhoods across the U.S. Tuesday in Rochester, sections of the city had the police out in the community to meet the public and foster ties.
“I mean, talk about building trust and legitimacy, that’s what it’s all about,” says Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary at the National Night Out event in Corn Hill.
With the challenging climate between police and urban neighborhoods in the US, Singletary says this event is a way for police and the people to come together.
“It’s opportunities like this where we can kind of reflect on the good of us working together,” adds Singletary.
“Our relationship with the RPD and Rochester Fire Department are everything to us,” says Joan Fraver of the Corn Hill Security Committee, who helped organize the event.
Fraver says drawing the community in is important. The free ice cream from Bruster’s in Webster helped with that. Residents say tonight built new avenues of cooperation.
“And I like that we get the chance to meet a bunch of different people,” says Micha Roth, ice cream drizzling down her chin.
“As you can see, we have a very diverse community in Corn Hill,” adds Paula Kemple,
“It’s very important because the police have to get to know the people of the community just to establish that relationship,” says resident Fadumo Mohamed
Captain David Smith with the Rochester Police Department says, “I’ve seen that people are definitely more polarized. So it’s always good when we can get out and shake hands.”
Singletary says police work can’t be done alone. Getting people familiar with the police, will help them approach officers when problems arise.
“If we work together, I always say there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together,” he says.
— ROCHESTER FIRST