Friday, July 25, 2014

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Rochester

RPD Outreach Aim to Improve Community Relationship

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Rochester: RPD Outreach Aim to Improve Community Relationship
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The Rochester Police Department stepped up its presence in a neighborhood on the city's southwest side. Their purpose: not to combat crime, but to rub elbows with a few residents.

On their horses and out of their cop cars, officers visited a Columbia Avenue neighborhood.

"I don't know why but some people really don't like to deal with the police," said Jeryn Boggs, neighborhood resident.

Officers wanted to change that.

"Perception is a big deal for us," said Lt. Robert Hill.

So they set up shop with their mobile command units, scuba team, and mounted patrol to attract positive attention.

"I think it's really important people see us in a different light than on television or through 911 calls. We are just like everybody else," said Hill.

They also went door to door.

"The reason why we are here is because we are doing an outreach," said Officer Joe Trovato to a resident.

Their goal is to get into neighborhoods with the least community involvement with the RPD.

"It's always be a bit troublesome and there's always been high crime," said Karen Lewis.

Lewis has lived here for 30 years.

"Not everyone here is a drug dealer. There are those who live here that have been here for 30-plus years. There are those that live here that have no other choice but to live in a neighborhood like this," said Lewis.

Officers say the department will be doing several outreach events in all four quadrants of the city.

"Sometimes if we don't get out there and introduce ourselves to people and meet them, they are reluctant to come forward if they feel like they don't have the support from the police department," said Trovato.

They hope the outreach will improve their relationship and create a long lasting trust.

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