Last Thursday, July 21, Mayor Malik D. Evans declared a Gun Violence State of Emergency in the City of Rochester in response to a surge in shootings and deadly shootings. “The City and our partners in government will dedicate all possible resources to bring an immediate end to this violence and prevent it from expanding further,” said Mayor Evans. “We know these shootings are directly tied to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliations and we will do all we can to disrupt these disputes before they reach critical mass.”
Just hours after the proclamation, a Rochester police officer was shot and killed and his partner wounded .The slain officer was in a parked vehicle with his partner when 17 rounds were fired into the vehicle from behind, Rochester Police Capt. Frank Umbrino said at a Friday news conference. The two were part of the department’s plainclothes tactical unit and were investigating a murder.
Police have arrested and charged a 21-year old man from the Boston, Massachusetts area second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons counts. -The Proclamation- Evans said the city had, before the officer’s death, recorded 41 homicides this year and more than 200 people had been shot. The homicide count was one less than at the same time the previous year.
The mayor said recent shootings were “directly tied to a deadly cycle of disputes and retaliations.” The Proclamation gives the Mayor broad powers to protect life and property and to bring the emergency under control. With each 30-day renewal of the Proclamation, the City will continue to assess violence patterns in city neighborhoods to develop and launch a suite of violence-prevention strategies enabled by the expanded authority it provides.
These strategies will build upon the work that is already underway across City departments in the areas of violence prevention, intervention and suppression. In addition, Mayor Evans has asked our Federal, State and County partners for further resources to provide more mental health and violence disruption services to actively attack this crisis from all angles.
Mayor Evans also implored city residents with information on disputes and criminal activity to come forward and cooperate with police and, or the Office of Violence Prevention Programs.
“Our most powerful tool in this fight against violence is information and cooperation from the community,” said Mayor Evans. “It is in times of crisis that we see the true heroes of our community and this is a time of crisis. We need our own local heroes to rise to the occasion. These are your neighborhoods, these are your children we are trying to protect.”