Police Accountability Board fully funded, RPD budget cut in Mayor Warren’s budget proposal
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has presented her budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year to the Rochester City Council and the major focus: public safety.
The mayor says that the budget would work to re-focus the goal of the Rochester Police Department, while expanding the role of the City’s Department of Recreation and Human Services in assisting residents in need.
The RPD’s overall budget would decline by about 4.7% and the funds would be re-allocated towards programs like the city’s Person in Crisis Team and the Office of Neighborhoods Safety.
It also includes the establishment of a Public Safety Commissioner who would ensure that the people of Rochester are protected. Lastly, it would fully fund the Police Accountability Board — its full $5 million funding request — which would allow the board to be staffed with over 50 employees.
“Beyond the numbers, the city budget is how we demonstrate our priorities and put our beliefs into practice. And this year, we heard our community and understand that it’s asking us to change how we do business,” Warren said.
Police Accountability Board celebrated the budget proposal Friday:
“The PAB is thrilled to learn of the City’s plan to invest $1 in accountability for every $20 it currently spends on policing, giving the PAB a $5 million budget. “This investment would be a massive step toward transforming the PAB into the change agent our community needs,” said PAB Chair Shani Wilson. “Today’s shooting on Glasser Street underscores the importance of having a PAB that can conduct fair investigations and create systemic change. More than ever, the PAB is committed to doing the work.”
“This is a victory called for and created by so many Rochesterians, and we join with them in celebrating this historic moment,” said PAB Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds. “From Mayor Warren to Council President Scott to staff in the budget department, we are grateful to the City officials who joined together to craft and propose a bold investment in our work. With the adoption of this proposal and continued collaboration, we are certain that the other challenges inherent in building the PAB can and will be overcome.”
The Mayor also said that that the average business or commercial property owner would see a tax bill lower than 2019 and that the average homeowner would see a decrease in property taxes.