Transcript: Need to Know Rochester for April 30, 2010

Associated Show Highlight: 
Crime & Connections

(Julie)Coming up on Need to Know Rochester Police Chief David Moore talks about the latest in neighborhood crime prevention and enforcement also a community effort to bring police and city youth to the same table.

and a celebration of spring time in Rochester.

 

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(ANNCR.) Rochester's News Magazine since 1997. This is Need To Know.

 

I'M JULIE PHILIPP, THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME FOR THIS EDITION OF NEED TO KNOW.

 

TODAY I'VE INVITED ROCHESTER POLICE CHIEF DAVID MOORE IN FOR A WIDE-RANGING DISCUSSION ABOUT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND ITS EFFORTS TO FIGHT CRIME AND CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME CHIEF MOORE.

 

(Moore) Always a pleasure to be here and thanks for having me.

 

(Julie) Let's start with something easy, your budget.  the city is looking at at 42 miilion dollar shortfall and that is clearly going to have implications for the police department, what are you looking at?

 

(Moore) Well it's obviously no question that , I think the mayor has made it very clear all of us in each department will certainly feeling our fair share of pain.  but true to his word the mayor has always consistently stated the importance of public saftey obviously. I feel very confident at the end of the day yes we will be looking at things that we currently do very closely and back off on some of those things.  My intent is to ensure that we can maintain that quality service that the community so rightfully deserves . Making sure that we are out there with the crime prevention efforts, some of the things the seen us do of over the last couple of years, were coming off of a very historically low year last year.  Of course they are trying to emulate that, it's been somewhat of a challenge. crime has been shaved in half in many areas, so certainly we, at our PD are very excited about it.

 

(Julie) how concerned are you? You add the city cuts and I'm sure there will be other reductions in state and federal programs, such as anti- drug programs how concerned are you that any progress that you have made to date will go backwards?

 

(Moore)  I'm very concerned about I am also confident we can maintain the quality service , our staffing has increased over the last 4 years, we currently have a staffing  level that is higher than its ever been in the city and one thing that i have been helped on that i pledged to the council a few years ago when we started zero tolerance , our intent was to reduce overtime spending while we were increasing our full time workers and we've been able to do that so we have seen a tremendous difference is officers  being visable but quite frankly there have been alot of crime initiatives that we do where we have had support from both the state and the federal government as well but having said that I do realize that the cops office, policing services in DC have been very helpful in keeping us on track with the number of police officers in our current academy class, so that we have not been able to lose those officers so that's important. I'm certainly watching what happens with the department of criminal justice services in albany as you know project impact falls under DC JS, we are currently in the process of working project impact I'm hoping to do 4-5 more cycles this summer.  So we're actually holding our breath a little bit being very concerned about what programs might be cut because we've made tremendous strides.

 

 (Julie) Do you anticipate any reductions in force this year?

 

( Moore) I am hoping that does not happen however, my staff and I , we're realists this is a very difficult situation this is a $44 million deficit this is a gap that is incredible, we realize as a department,  there's no question about it we will suffer in some areas we're just hoping they're not in some areas that will affect good public safety and crime prevention, and investigations and being out there, just being aggressive like we have been over the last number of years

 

(Julie) So at this point you have to make make cuts, you would make more administrative type cuts? at this point you're not anticipating any officer cuts?

(Moore) at this point still very early on the process , Certainly we are concerned about it I will tell you also,  even if we make cuts in those areas that don't appear to be critical that hurts us in a way.  Because those individuals who are none sworn employees, in many areas, we could not live without them.  For example, our crime analysis center which is second to none they have been very helpful in helping us find crime trends when they may possibly take place

and giving us valuable information firsthand so we can utilize information for deployments which are so critical.  So behind-the-scenes, our personnel, it would be a great loss,   very difficult decisions.

 

(Julie) Overtime already there's been a change in the overtime policy or it's about to be implemented, that's causing, at least the union is calling a grevance against you, there's soem concerns there, can you walk us through with what's going on with that?

 

(Moore) First of all let me say this, it's all about resources and reality.   We understand the restrictions that all of us, all department heads are tasked with that and I must say that, for the last couple years, we have tremendously backed off on overtime spending in a number of areas hopefully that overtime spending will not only be put to more full time officer's but also, it is a collaborative effort across the board with all of our departments.

the police department may have to give to another department we have seen that happen over the last couple years where departments have actually given there overtime funding to the police department, for example, for zero tolerance.  so all of us will be affected by it and I think that we've done a very admirable job reducing the overtimes spending, some of those are special events for example or special details, but

we've been blessed quite frankly that we've been able to utilize soem of our spendign over time.  Spending when it's appropriate.

 

(Julie) what special events qualify now for overtime? It really is the situation where we decide what Special events whether they are sanctioned by the city or private venue to contact those individuals and decide what is the most appropriate use of manpower. And certainly we have a number of special events, we're getting into a season right now, the one thing that I love about this community is that we don;t miss a weekend to go out  and celebrate I think it's something that we all have to look forward to, police, we have a role to play whether it's on -duty or off-duty, whether it's a special events role. We're trying to figure that all out, most importantly we want to make sure that those individuals who are in the community that are going out to the festivals are safe and that we are visible and making sure that everyone has a good time.

and some time it does take overtime and sometimes it certainly does take individuals who are working on duty, it's really a challenge that we as a staff look at every week to make sure it's right. 

 

(Julie) Now you've allowed from what I've read in reports, police officers to wear uniforms when they're working for private special events, are you concerned about that line being crossed that they're off duty but representing the police department?

 

 

(Moore) I am not concerned as long as they are advising me which they often do. we look at the circumstances involved in the overtime opportunity and if I feel comfortable with it I have no problem at all, in ensuring that those officers have the responsibility to go out and be professional like they always are. there are some restrictions and as long as we can see in the application, the requirements of the job, I'm okay with them in almost every incident. there are certain restrictions, officers can not work in liqour establishments, those kinds of restrictions but I feel very confident ,that, in the end may help us reduce our overtime spending in the future as we move forward.

 

(Julie) Let's talk about crime trends a little bit, they're looking pretty good overall.

 

(Moore)  they are but as we mentioned earlier we're certainly not in any position to Brag but  I just want to take an opportunity to thank members of the police department bith sworn and non sworn , we have come off of '09 a very historic low in fact the lowest in 25 years but it's still too early for us to brag.  I will say over the last four years we have seen a reduction, but we still have spikes.  we started out the first quarter this year, we currently have 10 homicides, since Jan. 1st last year that number was six .  Out of those 4 have beed domestic.A few others have been young individuals who were engaged in conflict.   so we're keeping a very close eye on ongoing conflicts, we're doing a number of things with our partners, in terms of domestic violence so we can intervene early on before we hear about these tragic outcomes.

 

(Julie)  we're hearing about the deaths caused by domestic violence are you seeing any kind of swing in domestic violence that don't result in a homicide? 

 

 

(Moore) Absolutely, we're experiencing an upward single swing on domestic violence and it's very tragic, whenever you are dealing with emotions and manyof those cases the police don't have a accurate record if you will , the calls for service being at a certain location, many times it's a hidden crime that's taking place and victims quite frankly are not willing to come forward we rely so much on co-workers and people who are family members so much to let us know that perhaps that these types of situations are taking place so that we can intervene.  we have just put together a domestic violence response team that I am very proud of.  So we can go out to those chronic call that do have a history of  situationstaking place.       Our officers and partners are out knocking on doors, checking on victims, potential victims to let them know that we are here and there are alot of services here in this community available, so domestic violence is vey key right now, we need to keep a close eye on it we really do.

 

 

(Julie) Youth violence. a chronic problem as well, And whats going on with that right now are you doing some special initiatives around that?

 

(Moore) We are keep in mind our strategy is very clear, I we can identify who the main players are in many cases we know who is creating problems in the neighborhoods the most apparent example I can give is a beat of "what's going on?" and most of the time they tell you what's going on, who may be involved and it's up to us to contact those individuals, we're doing a number of things, you're familiar with are violence enforcement and supression team was born 4 years ago, where we're identifying the top individuals in this community that are creating the most problem, there is a criteria that we use, illegal guns, history of violence, and working with these individuals and they know that they are on a list and they can get off the list, we want them to be good citizens and it's very important, we're seeing a very small percentage of the population involved in this violence and if we can keep a close eye on these individuals and work with them I think we can  be alot better off. 

 

So you're taking a very personalized approch. At the same time you are taking what some people seem to say is a big brother approch. Some real high tech stuff going on out there. Let's talk about that for a little bit. You have the video servalince cameras and some very sophisticated software that you're using.

 

We do and every so often I think technology really helps the police. And we're seeing it right now. We saw it decades ago with finger printing. Then we've seen it over the last decade with DNA and it has been very much in the news lately with what DNA can accomplish for law enforcment. We are also seeing technology that is number one, that is great for crime pervention. We have out servalince cameras. Currently we have 100 camers that are stratgicly located throughout the city. There is a criteria that we once again we use and a lot of that has to do with the information that we gather on crime trends. Whether a crime has taken place or anticipate a crime taking place. But keep in mind we want the community it know where the servalince cameras are at. In fact there are becons on those cameras so that we can pervent crimes from taking place. It has been very instramental in helping us identify perpetrators. Perhaps they are riding through or walk though a neighborhood where we can capture their image.

 

You can get in close?

 

Oh yes extermly close.

 

You can read license plates from far away?

 

Yes, it's been a wonderful tool. It is really an investment and I really want to thank the Councel and the Mayor for their investment. But that is helping us. I talked about our success last year. There are a number of things that have helped us be successful. Technology is a great part of that.

 

Now red light cameras are being instulled. There is a program I guess in the works to kind of let people know about them. Will you  start using them before this public education campaign goes into effect?

 

Absolutly, all along we have had sample locations where we have been gathering information. Just to make sure that we are in compliance. Of course what we hope to do is have a Moratorium for a period of time to be decided by the mayor and city councile. So once we are up and runing in opporations then the community can familiarize themselves with how things are up and working. We will be doing a public relations campaign, along with city communications to get that information out which is very critical. As you know there will also be signs in areas where a citizian will be driving through. So you will know that that camera is there.

 

So you will be awear of where the cameras are?

 

Yes, you will know where the cameras are.

 

And with this moratorium. You might get a ticket the first few months but it is more of an alert that that you did it rather then a ticket?

 

That's correct and once again we're not sure of how much time the moratorium will be. That needs to be decided by the city council. I am very confident this will help us deal with negative behavior in terms of driving. We understand that the most tradgic crashes happen at intersections. We are not backing off on our enforcement, but we can't be everywhere and that is where the cameras will help us.

 

We are out of time and I am not even half way through my list. We have you back again soon Cheif Moore. Thanks for being here. ROCHESTER POLICE CHIEF DAVID MOORE.  THIS WEEK, WXXI’S CARLET CLEARE REPORTED ON WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE DRUG DEALERS LIVING IN YOUR NEIGHOBORHOOD, AND WHY IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY FOR POLICE TO SHUT DRUG HOUSES DOWN.  IF YOU MISSED IT ON THE RADIO, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THAT STORY ONLINE.  GO TO W-X-X-I DOT O-R-G AND CLICK ON NEWS.

 

 

BACK IN 2008, THE CENTER FOR TEEN EMPOWERMENT AND ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY’S CENTER FOR PUBLIC SAFETY INITIATIVES SURVEYED NEARLY TWO THOUSAND YOUTH, AND MORE THAN 260 POLICE OFFICERS TO FIND OUT HOW THOSE TWO POPULATIONS FELT ABOUT EACH OTHER.  THEY FOLLOWED UP WITH FOCUS GROUPS AND WHAT THEY FOUND – WAS TROUBLING. HERE TO TALK ABOUT THAT – AND WHAT’S BEING DONE ABOUT IT – ARE DOUG ACKLEY AND SHANTERRA RANDLE, BOTH FROM THE CENTER FOR TEEN EMPOWERMENT.

 

 

Thanks for being here today

 

Thanks for having us.

 

Now lets talk first about the servey. Can you summerize some of the major findings of that survey.

 

We are still uncovering a lot about the survey though the focus groups that we are doing, which I know we will talk about in a little bit. One of the things that was really clear was that there is a need for change among youth and police relaltions in the city. THere are so meny perceptions that police have of youth and that  youth have about poilce and there are even perceptions about each other. That until these two groups start talking to each other the perceptions of this group are pretty far off. I think that the surveys revealed a lot of that information. Really what they revealed was also just the gap of youth and police in the community. I mean it has been historic. It's something that's got a lot of history to it. Young people and police in the city, unfortunatly, tend to have a lot of contact with each other and that contact isn't always positive. I think that we have a good stratigy in terms of the long term and short term.

 

Shanterra, you have sat in on some of the focus groups both with youth and the police. What kind of things were you hearing?

 

At the beginning of our focus groups we do this rating about youth and police relationships in Rochester. What we learned on both sides is that we rarely heard a rating over 5. Which this scale is 1-10. 10 being the best. 1 being the worst. So when you think about it from that dynamic there are no ratings over 5 on either side.

 

So the police would not rate anything above the youth? Can you give me an example? What are they rating?

 

Youth and police relationships. If they are good or bad. We rarely heard anything over a 5. So that means it is really bad. The state of it here and how is it out there. And that is really bad for people who interact on a day to day basis in a downtown area. So we may here it a lot that things need to be changed, but on the flip side of that we have heard the hope that things can be changed. Like that the police and youth relationships can be changed and that they can be better.

 

So things are not good, but the door is still open. You are holding a sympossium to bring the two groups together. They really have not come together that much yet in the process yet.

 

No we have run a parrle process. We have ran these groups with youth to hear about there thoughts and perceptions about police. Without police in the room and we have been doing the samething with the police and the police department has been great. In terms of putting together groups of officers so that we can get input from them because their input is crucial in this process.So we have been hearing about officers realtions with youth without them in the room. Saturday May 8th they are going to come together for the first time. It is an inventation only event. We are really looking to target the youth and police that have been apart of these focus groups. As Shanterra said they have also looked at some solutions to these realtions. Solutions that the community can take on, solutions that youth can take on, solutions that the police and the department can take on. So I think that we are going to come out with a pretty informative action plan. Probably the likes of which has never happened.

 

Are you hearing the same kind of solutions from both sides?

 

Actually, yes. It amazed me that I went to one police meeting and the similarities that they had with the youth. I have deffiently heard the same solutions being put out there. Even the owner ship that each side has taken it's amazing to me. I didn't feel like the youth would own up for what they added and the police wouldn't own up for what they added, but they both sides took ownership and accountability and want things to change. And that's a major part of it. Just wanting that change.

 

What sorts of things do they each have to take ownership of?

 

Basically, interactions. When a young person acts and interacts and how a police officer acts and interacts. But beyond that even educating. Asking why they go into certain sistuations that they have gone into. And there is deffently stuff that I have learned by being apart of both focuse groups. About what police officers have deal with going from one call to another call and never looking at it like that. And that has deffintly changed my perceptions on police officers and deffently on youth.

 

When you developed this action plan; you are also inviting some witnesses, you're clling them, to the sympossium. Can you tell us what they are suppose to do?

 

At the end of this we hope to come up with a long term process that the community has to own. Youth and police are setting the stage for the kind of things they want to see and really need to see happen. Wheathet they be programs. People have talked about programs that use to be in this community and other communities. You know police athletic leauges and those other kind of opportunities for police and youth to interact in those different kind of ways. The police department can't be souly responsible for that, community agencies can't be souly responsible for that, but they are important steak holders that have a role in it. So we are going to be asking these witnesses how they can either support these action steps, in their organization through funding, through other kinds of community support. For really being able to carry out a plan. You know the way that we would try to look at any issue and try solve it with a plan.

 

Are you with this economic time with budgets the way they are that this is going to be a very long process to turn around?

 

I imagine it is. But I will tell you, this year alone we have seen three officers who have been by shot. And by what it looks like, young people in the community. So we got a serious issue. Now this was something that was talked about on both sides. This is something that really needs to be addressed. For the stately and livelyhood of officers in the community and for the young people. There is so much that young people in a community need. And when officers enter into this process they start to relize the kind of things youth need in the community to be okay.

 

So there is forward movement. Good luck with that.

 

Thanks Julie.

 

Thank you both for coming in today.  DOUG ACKLEY, DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTER FOR TEEN EMPOWERMENT AND THE CENTER’S ASSOCIATE COORDINATOR SHANTERRA RANDLE.AND I’M JULIE PHILIPP.  NEXT WEEK ON NEED TO KNOW – THE INNOVATION ECONOMY.  WE’LL HAVE THE FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR BUSINESS WEEK MAGAZINE MICHAEL MANDEL HERE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THE INNOVATION ECONOMY IS, AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR ROCHESTER.  THAT’S NEXT WEEK ON NEED TO KNOW.IN THE MEANTIME, OUR BUSINESS REPORTER, MATT DANEMAN FROM THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE IS OFF TODAY – NO DOUBT ENJOYING THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING.  SO NEED TO KNOW VIDEOGRAPHER MARTY KAUFMAN HEADED OUT TO DO THE SAME – AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS VIDEO ESSAY.  HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

 

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(ANNCR) Previous Need To Know broadcasts can be seen if you have Time Warner's on demand service. Go to Rochester On Demand channel 111. Then look for WXXI news. There you'll find a selection of recent Need To Know Programs.

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