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Security to patrol Civic Center Garage
By Patrice Walsh
Rochester, N.Y.-- Despite pleas from advocates for the homeless, the Civic Center parking garage will begin security patrols to keep the homeless and others who dont belong there, from sleeping there on cold nights.
The Chairman of the Local Development Corporation that owns the garage tells 13WHAM they dont want to see anyone thrown out in the cold, but Ray Bell also said, this is a parking garage and we have to answer safety concerns from our customers.
The garage has also been threatened with legal action to address some of the safety concerns, such as homeless sleeping near cars or other areas where there is traffic. Administrative Judge Craig Doran sent a letter to the county stating the concerns and complaints he has received from employees, judges, lawyers and others who use the garage.
The security patrols will begin in about two weeks and will cover two shifts during the daytime. They will do foot patrols from 5:50 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Bell said they will not be armed but will ask all trespassers to leave.
The garage will not be locked at night or closed, but Bell said they dont want the homeless using this as a place to sleep. He said its just not safe for them or for customers of the garage.
J.D. told us he has slept in the parking garage for 8 years and is scared about where he will end up if he is thrown out. He told us he will probably return to the old subway bed where he has slept before.
The county said it doesnt want anyone turned out into the cold and is trying to work on a long-term solution to provide more emergency housing and services for the homeless.