19th Ward Neighbors support community policing
Updated: Friday, April 11 2014, 10:49 PM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. - Howard Bellamy said he doesn’t worry about his safety; he has secured his home with cameras and sensors. Any movement on his driveway or near his house activates cameras in his house. That’s how he caught someone trying to steal his snow blower from his backyard.
Bellamy said though he is disappointed that when he needed police because of vandals in his neighborhood, they didn’t respond. He said after that, he stopped calling them to report problems.
He said when he moved to the city in the 1950’s there were beat cops patrolling the streets. He said it was safer then. “Nobody got killed; we didn’t have crimes like this.” Bellamy told 13WHAM News.
He said he doesn’t answer his door at night and doesn’t leave the house. He counts on his security system to let him know if something’s wrong.
He said community policing is a good thing and he welcomes seeing more officers walking the beat in his neighborhood.
Diane Watkins grew up on Orange Street in the city and moved back into Rochester from Henrietta 20 years ago. She considers herself a city girl. She is also a strong supporter of her neighborhood. She is Vice-President of the 19th Ward Neighborhood Association.
She said people are upset about drug activity, and other crimes in their neighborhood. They’d also like to see quicker response times.
Watkins said when she grew up she knew all of the officers patrolling on her street by name. She said there was trust and no one was afraid to speak up. She hopes with five police sections, it will help rebuild trust in the department which has been strained because of recent incidents involving citizens videotaping arrests.
The city said the process of going to five sections will be gradual and will be complete by next year.