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Updates on proposed RPD reorganization
Rochester, N.Y. -- Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli announced more information about the city's police department Friday.
Under the original proposal, made in April, the city will scrap the current Eastside/Westside divisions and bring back neighborhood police sections.
There is a central section surrounded by four neighborhood quadrants: Lake, Genesee, Goodman, and Clinton.
The Lake section will cover the Lake Avenue corridor, Genesee covers the southwest along the river, Goodman cover the east side extending north up Goodman Avenue, and Clinton cover the north encompassing the North Clinton Avenue neighborhoods.
Past administrations said it would cost millions of dollars to covert back to the neighborhood model but leaders at City Hall say it can be done for $350,000 and there will be an annual increase to the police budget of about $326,000.
"Do you know what the cost is of vacant housing? Drug deals, drug sales, decline in property values where you don't have taxpayers...so $300,000 is a drop in the bucket," says LaShay Harris with the 19th Ward Neighborhood Association.
"The additional cost is going to constitute about one third of one percent of our annual operating budget," says Chief Michael Ciminelli. "From my perspective, and I think by any objective measure, to do a de-centralization of this magnitude and to keep the cost at that level is, I think, kind of a home run, to be blunt."
"I agree with the Chief," says Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. "I think that this is a plan that is cost-effective, efficient, and one that is sustainable on behalf of the city. We want the people in our community to have the same relationships with the people that are patrolling our streets that they have with our officers that are in our neighborhood service centers."
Acorss the city there will be 37 individual police "beats" and officers will be assigned to the same "beat" condistently. Chief Ciminelli says, in his experience, officers take pride in being assigned to a "beat" and they take it personal when something happens in their beat.