Mayor Lovely A. Warren and City Council President Loretta C. Scott today announced their support for a residency requirement for all newly hired Rochester Police Department Officers. To achieve this goal, Mayor Warren and President Scott are calling upon Rochester’s New York State Legislature delegation to introduce and support legislation to allow the City to adopt a local law creating the requirement. The Mayor and Council President have sent a joint letter to the entire delegation asking them to take action.
“Having our police officers live in the community they protect and serve will build relationships and strengthen our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Warren. “Ultimately, both officers and their neighbors will benefit and, I’m confident, our city will be safer because of connections made. Also, we will keep vital dollars and resources in Rochester rather than see them leave our community.”
“The City of Rochester has a residency requirement for many of its employees, because we know that when you live in the City you serve, you have more at stake. This is not a radical change in philosophy for us, it is a continuation of a policy that we believe in,” said Rochester City Council President Loretta C. Scott, “I want to encourage our partners in Albany to take up this request, and provide us the tools we need to create positive change in our community.”
Mayor Warren and President Scott plan on meeting with members of the local N.Y. State Legislature delegation to solicit their support and will advocate to the leadership of the State Senate and Assembly as well. They hope the Legislature will act when it returns to session. Upon passage of the enabling State Legislation, Mayor Warren would immediately submit a local law to City Council for its consideration to put the residency requirement into effect. The requirement would apply to newly hired Rochester Police Department officers, not existing officers or current officers who receive promotions.
”Rochester has been at the forefront of implementing police reforms to improve the safety of our community and residents’ confidence in law enforcement,” stated Mayor Warren. “From body-worn cameras to adopting all of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement and President Obama’s 21st Century policing recommendations to our Police Accountability Board, President Scott and I have led the way to ensure that our City’s police truly protect and serve. A residency requirement for RPD officers is the next important step and I hope our State Delegation acts immediately to join us in this effort.”
“As cities across the country continue to reimagine policing, our neighbors in Buffalo and Syracuse are asking for the same opportunity to implement residency requirements for their police forces,” said Vice President Willie J. Lightfoot, “This policy change has the potential to make a significant impact our community by enhancing our opportunity to recruit a diverse police force, creating positive economic impacts by keeping money in the City, and making our neighborhoods safer.”
(Attached is the text of the letter sent to all members of the local delegation earlier today.)