Minutes were taken by Greta Mosley of the 19WCA. Minutes were to be posted on the old 19wca.org after approval but there were problems with the website and they are slowly repopulating their new website. I'm posting them here for your convenience.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Public Safety Meeting – 19th Ward
Location: Rochester Presbyterian Home ----Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
256 Thurston Rd
Rochester, NY 14619
Moderator-John Borek, Neighborhood Service Center Officer- Carl Dickerson, Andy DiMaria, Special Guests, Police Chief, Michael Ciminelli, Lt. Hill, Captain Tony Mc Mullen of SW Quadrant.
Attendance-10 neighborhood citizens
Moderator-John Borek commended the police officers for their hard work, professionalism and attendance at the meetings in the 19th Ward community. Everyone in attendance gave them a round of applause.
John Borek: Police Community Communications is the topic for the evening.
Resident: We have social media, a community web page that we use in the 19th Ward to get the word out about different occurrences within our community. But it appears that there are more postings on those social media outlets about missing stray dogs and cats than there are about missing persons, particularly children. There seems to be more postings of children from Syracuse, Buffalo and New York City than there are for Rochester. The statement I would like to make is that there was a missing child that the Democrat & Chronicle posted that had been missing for about a month, luckily she was found. The question that I have is that “How can we work together to have the message that people are missing sooner rather than later to alert the community, so that positive results are obtained” ?
Police Chief: Let me put my answer in context. Last year we had 1,388 missing person reports, that is a large number but 98% of those cases in 2014 have been closed, the missing person was located. We have a process of assessing those cases that we will publicize and the manner in which we will publicize them. The way that we choose to publicize those cases will vary. Missing persons come in a wide variety and circumstances. There are times that we will do a press conference depending on the circumstance. We will on our Facebook page and Twitter post missing persons (children and adults). In terms of how the message is channeled out, there are probably in excess of seventy (70) neighborhood and community groups in the city. We have found that not all of them have a website, but many of them do. It is not feasible for us to communicate with each individual organization. However, we clearly would want your help. We suggest that people monitor our Facebook page and our Twitter and that
ce that maybe we should have posted a certain case sooner or posted it in another way to solve it quicker to alleviate lost time for future cases that may be similar in nature. Other groups will have people watch or monitor our website and post on their website.
Resident: We have a tendency to look at other community organizations website and often times will post the information on our social media sites.
Police Chief: Our organization is very open to constructive criticism. We are interested in improving our service for the community at large. We welcome the input. Also, we have other ways that we inform the community.
Lt. Hill: Outside of social media aspect of we also have monthly meetings with the community specifically, the southwest where we address the crime statistics in the area. The Southwest Police Citizen Interaction (PCIC) meeting occurs the second week of every month on a Wednesday. There are also numerous meetings (business association meetings in the different areas of the southwest, the 19th Ward Public Safety meeting, block club meetings, outreach meetings) that we attend in the community to have face to face dialogue to reduce crime. In addition we are posting to the RPD Website, RPD Face book page, RPD Twitter criminal activity that needs to be addressed; residents can download MY PD smart application to their smart phone for text updates of unscrupulous activity in the area. We also avail ourselves to answering questions that the public may have about the criminal activity. However, we are not able to always be in the office at the computer to address these concerns but are open to having those come to us as we review them to respond to the community. We do not ignore the comments. Should there be a pattern of crime that is going on in the southwest we will do ROBO calls to alert the residents of the situation. We want you to be aware of the problems and we are your partners. The more you know will in turn benefit the police officers as well.
Police Chief: We will have the late breaking news on our RPD Website prominently posted to it. So that one will be able to “click here” and access that information. Also, on the RPD website and get a link to crime map page that will allow you to retrieve statistics about crime in your neighborhood based on your input of a date, location, etc. Usually, there is a 2- 3 day lag from when the crime happened to being input into the system. To solve a crime in this community, the RPD will avail itself to knock on doors of the community with neighbors help should they have an interest, when the situation warrants it to solve a crime. Nothing beats the face to face interaction with the community.
Lt. Hill: The community also has the ability to talk “live” to a representative if Facebook and Twitter are not suitable for you to obtain information.
Resident: I have lived in this neighborhood since childhood and I am a homeowner in the 19th Ward. Currently, my children live in the 19th Ward with their children. Over the years I have noticed a dramatic change in the lack of consideration for others in terms of the high speeds that people go down the residential streets. Speed bumps are needed. And we will be getting those this spring. There is a constant hanging out on corners. It appears that there may be drug activity. This is occurring near the schools and health centers in the area. It is not safe for children to play; people are reluctant to sit on their porches for fear of being harassed. Neighbors I have talked with say that they are afraid to go to the police for fear of retaliation by gang members. Many of the neighbors don’t have anywhere else to live after working for 25 -30 years at Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, etc. Are you aware of what is going on in the neighborhood? We have not had any feedback if progress is being made.
Capt. McMullen: Yes, we are aware and have intelligence about the situation and we are making progress. Please understand that everyone that is standing on a corner may or may not be selling drugs. We must have proof and build a case before an arrest. This situation did not happen overnight and will not be rectified quickly. Also, there is a team approach to the problem you identified and we are making progress. Also, to answer your complaint about people being fearful to talk with the police, we will provide a private location to speak with individuals that are fearful so that we can solve the problem. We don’t have to meet at your home. Also, keep in mind that sooner or later that someone will have to be that person to bring the situation to a close and will have testify in court in order to prosecute the crime.
Moderator: John Borek— I would like for everyone to introduce yourself and say one short sentence about what your major concern is in terms of safety in the 19th Ward, personally.
Residents responded with the following concerns:
Reduce crime, speeding on our residential streets, rental property that is not being kept up to code, burglaries in the neighborhood, reduction in crime, respect civil rights and civil liberties break-ins, young black males killing each other, safety of students in the area, parking vehicles on lawns, cars being broken into, pumpkins thrown through my front windows, gutters stolen, open air drug selling, stop the murders, no more abandoned cars at residences, removal of garbage in back yards, dogs barking incessantly, horns blowing, need more neighbors involved in the Public Safety Committee--- would like to see the positives about the 19th Ward neighborhood publicized more, and more jobs--IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE.—So that residents can walk their my dog, water the lawn, and children can play without being fearful.
D. Watkins-Please encourage your neighbors to join the 19th Ward Association. Our 50th year celebration of being an organization is this year, 2015.
Borek-Often times when there is a longstanding problem that has not been solved for you, please request a meeting with myself and the David Hawkes, Neighborhood Service Center Director and Lieutenant Hill, so your quality of life issued can be addressed.
Police Chief- Please be aware that when we implement community policing (quadrant model) there will be the same officers that can assist you with your problem in a more efficient manner.
Lt. Hill-National Night Out event needs to be planned, Frances Johnson normally handles it but she is not available at this time to plan this event. We are asking for a volunteer to plan this annual event that occurs in August of every year. It would be a shame for this to be the first year that the southwest will not have this event.