Demand City Council Reimagine Public Safety

In our work to fully divest from the Rochester Police Department and reimagine public safety in our community, we have outlined five immediate policy demands that Rochester City Council must pass. While these represent a meaningful first step, they are far from a complete solution to the policing crisis in Rochester.

1) Mental health professionals should respond to mental health calls. One in four killings by police involve someone with a mental health issue. We demand the creation of a mobile emergency first responder system to respond to mental health calls. This program should a) operate fully independent of the RPD b) be culturally responsive and prioritize the hiring of Black community members c) operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  d) be fully funded to ensure a timely response to calls and fair pay for workers.

2) Create a Department of Public Safety. Create a Department of Public Safety to house the crisis intervention team, mobile emergency response, Pathways to Peace, and other violence interruption and non-police, community-based safety programs.

3) Ban the use of chemical weapons by the RPD. Prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members.

4) Ban the use of spit hoods by the RPD. Prohibit the degrading and dehumanizing use of spit hoods by Rochester police.

5) Prohibit mourning bands from covering police badges. The practice of covering names and badge numbers with “mourning bands” authorizes officers to act with impunity.

Tell Rochester City Council to pass this first legislative package immediately.

-- Free the People Roc --

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