Reaching a community's deepest roots
“We commit ourselves in a new way to work together for the benefit of our city. Together we seek solutions to our problems, and strive to create a city where all people are valued and all have access to the benefits of our society. We will celebrate our successes together and look for opportunities to support one another as we work to create a flourishing city full of hope and promise.”
Clergy on Patrol Primer
What is Clergy on Patrol?
Clergy on Patrol is a partnership between the Rochester Police Department (RPD) and the local clergy. RPD officers walk the neighborhoods with members of the Clergy to help build relationships with members of the local community.
The program is not restricted to clergy. Citizens of any faith or philosophy are welcome to volunteer.
Why is Clergy on Patrol needed?
RPD is striving to strengthen their relationship with residents and business owners in the neighborhoods that they patrol. One way to do that is by increasing personal interactions with residents. The Clergy already has strong relationships within the community, so by partnering with the clergy, RPD is able to leverage the clergy’s existing relationships to help facilitate introductions within the community.
Why does RPD need good relationships within the community?
RPD can’t fight crime alone. Crime is everyone’s problem. Members of the community have a much more intimate knowledge of what is going on in their own neighborhood than RPD can. They know where crime and negative activities occur. With their help, RPD can do their job more effectively. They need our assistance to help make our neighborhoods safer.
Does this have anything to do with the Police Department reorganization?
Upon taking office, Mayor Lovely Warren changed the way the Rochester Police Department was organized, returning it to a neighborhood beat structure using a five-section model. Under this new model, police officers will have a stronger connection with the neighborhoods they serve to help bolster relationships. While Clergy on Patrol is not a part of the reorganization, it fits in well with Mayor Warren’s vision for community policing.
Does Clergy on Patrol only involve police and clergy walking the streets?
Clergy on Patrol is meant to be a holistic program that integrates the police into the community in a variety of ways. Churches may choose to invite their local beat officer to a church service or to their church picnic. Some churches might ask an RPD officer to participate on their church softball team.
What else does RPD do in the community?
RPD already has many programs with the community that you might not be familiar with:
- PAC-TAC: PAC-TAC stands for Police and Citizens Together Against Crime. As a PAC-TAC volunteer, you will work with an on-duty patrol officer as you walk with a PAC-TAC partner in your neighborhood and interact with other citizens and local merchants to help prevent crime. All volunteer citizens receive extensive training. If you are interested in participating in PAC-TAC, contact our volunteer coordinator at 428-7496.
- Do the Right Thing program: The goal of the Do the Right Thing program is to foster positive relationships between the Rochester Police Department and the youth of our city. The Do the Right Thing Award program recognizes youth for their positive behavior, accomplishments and good deeds by distinguishing school-age children who strive to make good choices, do well in school, give back to their communities, or demonstrate “turn-around” behavior. All students in grades K-12 that are enrolled in any Monroe County school are eligible for nomination. For more information call 428-7863.
- Community Volunteer Response Team (CVRT): Homicides can leave a lingering emotional effect on members of the surrounding neighborhood. Residents might feel unsafe in their own homes, experience sleeplessness or have other physical or emotional symptoms when a homicide occurs in their community. You can help heal the community by becoming CVRT. Volunteers check on residents after a homicide and refer them to counselors as needed. For more information call (585) 428-7496.
- Books and Bears: Rochester police officers keep a few children’s books and teddy bears in the trunks of their patrol cars. The books and bears are given to children who find themselves in traumatic situations. It’s a small gesture, but for those children it means the world.
I would like to become involved. What do I need to do?
Call Tracey Miller in the Mayor’s office and she will provide all of the information that you need to get started. Tracey can be reached at (585) 428-6684.