New plan to reduce Rochester violence set to begin

Efforts to reduce violence in the city of Rochester through a Community-Wide Neighborhood Safety Plan are set to begin Oct. 18 after the selection of a planning consultant on behalf of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Safety.

The development of the Office of Neighborhood Safety was announced by Mayor Lovely Warren May 4 and was officially incorporated into the city’s fiscal budget for the 2021-22 year. The Office of Neighborhood Safety is the newest division in the Department of Recreation and Human Services and was created to establish and implement a community-based intervention and prevention strategy to combat and eliminate violence.

According to the mayor, the Office of Neighborhood Safety will

• provide public safety data collection;

• coordinate non-police responses;

• oversee the Peacekeeper fellowship; and

• create mentorship, violence-interruption and job-readiness programs.

The office will be managed by Kiah Nyame, who will develop, implement and coordinate the Community-Wide Neighborhood Safety Plan under the direction of the deputy commissioner as well as the commissioner of recreation and human services.

The citywide initiative began with a Violence Prevention Summit at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center July 29. During the event, members of the Office of Neighborhood Safety met with such local community organizations as Pathways to Peace, the ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition and the Youth Advocate Program to study existing violence-reduction programs in the city and develop a plan for a violence-reduction strategy that includes public oversight, accountability and reporting.

On Aug. 19, a request for proposals was announced, seeking proposals from community organizations that could demonstrate an ability to help accomplish the objectives of the violence-prevention strategy that was being developed and meet accountability requirements.

Following implementation in October, the office is set to host another summit in July 2022 to assess the effectiveness of the strategy and discuss improvements.

For more information on The Office of Neighborhood Safety, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/ONS.

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