Mayor Richards and Chief Sheppard “On the Street” for safety

Posted at: 05/07/2013 11:47 PM
By: Lynette Adams

Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard and Rochester Mayor Tom Richards walked the streets of Charlotte Tuesday night to promote safety and development discussions.

There have been two stabbings reported at Durand Beach in Rochester within the last two weeks, the most recent one having happened early Monday morning.

Last month, police say a man died after he was stabbed while celebrating his birthday at the beach.

Police say the two incidents are not connected, but as summer approaches, News10NBC wanted to know if police are doing anything extra to keep you and your family safe when you visit local beaches.

News10NBC caught up with Chief Sheppard and Mayor Richards Tuesday night at the “On the Street” community meeting and outdoor walk in Charlotte.

Chief Sheppard says those incidents at Durand happened after hours when the beach is closed and no one is supposed to be there. He says there will be extra patrols at Durand and police are prepared to arrest anyone who's there after closings.

There's also been concerns about safety at Charlotte Beach, where a massive fight broke out among local teens three summers ago. Chief Sheppard says police have had a plan in place since then and it has worked the last two years.

“We'll have resources from the Rochester Police Department working in collaboration with probation and parole. We'll also work with RTS so if we do have a problem (we can) get people out of Charlotte if need be. We'll also communicate that we're going to have a plan so people know that if they plan on coming down here and being disruptive, we're also going to have the resources to deal with it,” said Sheppard.

Police say this is part of what has worked. Each year, the chief walks through the neighborhood and talks with residents about their concerns. Tuesday night he brought the mayor along.

Residents say the violence is not as much of a concern as local development. They want to see development that's thoughtful of the neighborhood, like the city's plan to build a marina and condo's at the port.

But some three-year Charlotte residents News10NBC spoke to want to know what the hold up is with that project.

“There isn't a government agency that doesn't touch this harbor and we've had to get all kinds of permits. But we've got them now and we have the money, so come this fall you will see this place start to get dug up and in 18 months you'll see a marina there,” said Mayor Richards.

“We'd like to see the port used better. We like the idea of what they're doing at the port, but we don't want them to over use it,” said Charlotte resident Sean Schiano.

“Taking in consideration that it is a community, a residential community and there does need to be a partnership between the businesses and the community, the businesses that are developed here,” said Charlotte resident Sarah Gallivan.

The mayor says he hopes that will be a new beginning for Charlotte. He says businesses often don't last in the area because traffic is seasonal. Mayor Richards says he hopes creating more housing will change that and creating more demand for businesses and services year round.

There are complaints about noise in the parking lot at port terminal and some residents concerned more development will bring more noise.

But the mayor says that's an easy solution: the more cars there are in the parking lot, the less there will be room for people to congregate and party in the parking lot. He thinks that this will happen with this new development. In the meantime, the mayor says the police department will have to step up patrols.