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Coalition focuses on gun violence

The ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition, a broad-based organization that includes citizens' groups as well as law enforcement agencies, has unveiled a plan it hopes will help reduce the city's gun violence.

The plan includes adding funding to the Rochester Police Department budget, developing a gun amnesty program, enforcing gun laws more strictly, pushing for legislation for the safe storage of legal weapons, and increasing staffing for mediation programs.

Rochester City Council member Willie Lightfoot, who chairs the coalition, said the funding increase for the police department will likely be included in the next city budget proposal. Increasing the number of police officers, he said, could let more police respond to shootings, helping them apprehend suspects more quickly. And a consistent show of force could prevent more shootings from happening, he said.

In addition, Lightfoot said, "We're looking at some stuff that they've done in Brooklyn with a mobile trauma unit" that helps people deal with the effects of trauma when shootings happen.

The coalition is holding a public meeting to discuss its efforts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, in Council Chambers at City Hall.