Rochester, N.Y. - Crime data has been compiled by the Rochester Police Department for the City of Rochester in 2015.
Overall, statistics improved for rates of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglaries and larcenies.
According to Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli, these types of crimes fell to their lowest levels in 25 years.
Chief Ciminelli did say that gun violence is still a major problem in the city.
There were 204 shooting incidents in 2015. In 58 of those cases, multiple individuals were shot.
Sixty percent of those shooting incidents are dispute-related. One of the contributing factors for those disputes, Chief Ciminelli said, is the rise of social media.
"A lot of our violence is dispute-related," Chief Ciminelli said. "And frankly, the proliferation of social media, Facebook, things like that, it's a new thing. It's something that many, many years ago, when I worked the streets as a cop, we didn't have to deal with that. So we do try to keep on top of that. We try and intervene in a non-enforcement way by walking with people and talking with their families, trying to find clergy members that may have some influence."
Several categories of crime did increase from 2014 to 2015. Aggravated assaults, threats with a weapon and the overall number of shooting victims rose.
There was one more homicide in 2015 (36) compared to 2014 (35). However, the shooting victim who died in 2015 was actually injured in a shooting in 1999.
Eighty percent of all homicides in the City of Rochester were cleared by the Rochester Police Department, compared to 64 percent on the national average.
The total number of guns seized by RPD - either through crimes committed or gun buyback programs - was the highest in ten years at 1,096 weapons.
Mayor Warren said she hopes the steps started last year will begin to have a positive impact this year, including the creation of a new Gun Crimes Trial Part and efforts to work with other New York mayors to advocate for state laws that will address gun violence.
"We must give our children the promise of a better future," she said. "We must teach our children they can succeed with their minds, not with guns and violence."
For people affected by violent crime, the numbers do not matter as much as the pain they're still feeling.
"To me, I feel like they need to see how it affects families going forward, and maybe if that sheds some light," said Rhonda Davis, whose son, 23-year old Carlton McLaughlin, was shot and killed on Ridgeway Ave. on May 18, 2015.
She says the losses stemming from these disputes are not worth it, and she wants those committing violent crimes to see how hard it is for the families left behind.
"See exactly how this is affecting our lives going forward," Davis said. "Maybe if you can get an emotional tie, you know, you can see our pain and listen to our heartfelt stories. Maybe it would change your mind, if you decided to, perhaps, maybe even entertain the thought of committing a killing or violent act toward someone."
Davis believes reaching the younger generation early on through preventative education and job opportunities could be one way to lower crime.
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