Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Police Chief Discusses Downtown Rochester Safety

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Rochester: Police Chief Discusses Downtown Rochester Safety
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Rochester's police chief and the mayor held a Downtown Stakeholders meeting Thursday to update crime statistics and trends specifically about downtown Rochester.

Some 75 people attended the community meeting to listen, ask questions and voice concerns.

Chief Jim Sheppard says the Rochester Police Department adjusts patrols to focus on increased areas of crime, but admits, a lot of the problems downtown do not show up in crime statistics; like disorderly teenagers, drug sales, and late-night fights outside bars.

The city spends $130 million on police services a year. It has some 750 sworn police officers. The Department is adding police to the Sibley Building this summer.

"We want you to know the reality of it versus perception. At the same time, some of the issues that we are aware of or are brought to our attention, we have something in place to address those concerns or will put something in place to address those concerns for them," said Sheppard.

Mayor Tom Richards says the city continues to work on giving people a reason to come downtown by investing in how the city looks, moving the buses to a new transit center, changing traffic patterns, and increasing communication with the city school district, businesses and residents.

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