Retired Rochester city Police Chief reflects on troopers patrolling streets

Retired Rochester city Police Chief reflects on troopers patrolling streets

While the city of Syracuse waits for the New York State Police patrols to start, CNYCentral spoke to a retired police chief in Rochester who says he remembers when it happened there.

James Sheppard said it was in the early 1990's and mid-2000's, after a streak of violence, when they collaborated with troopers and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

The agreement was an additional 20 officers each from the sheriff's department and state police who were paired with 40 Rochester police officers who had knowledge of the community and the tough neighborhoods.

One problem that came up, the community felt like they were under siege at times with so many officers. Sheppard said it was successful overall and sent a strong message that violence won't be tolerated.

"It was best for those officers to not just go in as an occupational force but to really go in and take care of engagement. Meeting the people who live in the neighborhoods talking to the people sitting on their porches, and at the same time addressing the issues that are coming up through your crime analysis in terms of who what where how and why they are engaged in the violent acts," Sheppard added.

He said they also had what is called project exile in Rochester, an effort that works with the U.S Attorney's office to get illegal guns off the streets. Mayor Ben Walsh's office said that they have been with that office too, but it is unclear if it is for the same purpose.

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