Mayor, Police Chief Detail 2022 Crime Stats, Discuss Safety Strategies

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 January 25, 2023 

Mayor Malik Evans and Police Chief David Smith held a press conference Wednesday morning to outline some of last year's crime statistics for the City of Rochester and discuss ongoing police strategies going forward. You can see the full press conference video here:


Click here to download the City of Rochester Public Safety Strategies booklet >>


  • In 2022 there were 76 homicides; down from 84 in 2021 (including four deaths from previous-year incidents).
  • In 2022, there were 303 shootings, down from 349 in 2021.
  • Revamped recuiremnt efforts:      
    • The Workforce Development Program maintains engagement with potential candidates for recruitment. 100 volunteers currently participating.
    • 798 candidates took fall exam, up from 367 in 2021.
    • Current Police Academy class of 24 cadets is almost 50 percent minority.
  • Community Affairs Bureau: Under Deputy Chief Keith Stith, unit is expanding community partnerships, including with New Americans; Re-building PAC-TAC and the Youth Advisory Council; Engaging corporate stakeholders including; new internship program with RCSD.
  • Officer Wellness Program to support officers' physical, mental, and emotional health
  • The RPD will continue to focus on violent street segments; most violent offenders; and illegal guns.
  • The Special Investigations Section and their partner agencies served over 180 search warrants, arrested almost 200 people, and seized 19 kilograms of cocaine, almost 4 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, well over 200 pounds of marijuana, and 124 firearms.
    • The partnership included: the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, Parole, Probation, the ATF, U.S. Marshal's Office, DEA, FBI, Monroe County District Attorney's Office and the United States Attorney's Office.
  • Encourage more community involvement.


Police Chief's Remarks:

 To get up here and talk about a review of the last 12 months of the Rochester Police Department is an incredible challenge. Last year, 76 lives were lost to violence, including one of our own; Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz.
For 2022, we strived to re-engage with our community while at the same time targeting the most violent of offenders; those that prey on our streets. With the ROC Initiative, we began unprecedented coordination and cooperation with our law enforcement partners, including the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Parole, Probation, the ATF, U.S. Marshal’s Office, DEA, FBI, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office.

The investigations into these violent offenders included the multi-agency efforts and long-term investigation into the distribution networks of Brandon Washington, Rasheem Sullivan and others. Our Special Investigation Section and their partners served over 180 search warrants, arrested almost 200 people, and seized 19 kilograms of cocaine, almost 4 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, well over 200 pounds of marijuana, and 124 firearms
Additionally, as a result of the hard work of the men and women of the Rochester Police Department we recovered 821 firearms from our streets, including 58 “ghost guns.”

Shooting victims, while still unacceptably high, have dropped from 419 in 2021 to 351. Murder victims have dropped from 84 to 76. Of those 76 murders, our Major Crimes Unit has closed 44 of them, with several more expected to be closed in the very near future.

Internally, 2022 brought the beginning of our Wellness Unit. This unit is designed to assist all of our members with maintaining and improving their physical, mental, and emotional health. As this unit grows, we will continue to adjust their function in order to best serve our Officers.

We also began a pilot program within our Call Reduction Unit. Less-emergent 911 and 311 calls are being triaged to our limited duty Officers to handle by phone. This program has shown success in reducing workload on our Patrol Officers, easing the burden of staffing shortages and decreasing wait times. This is a start, but we must continue to bring these numbers down.

And while these partnerships with other law enforcement agencies are important, we must fill the gaps within RPD’s own ranks. We continue to have an unprecedented number of vacancies to fill. In response, we have completely revamped our recruitment efforts and have begun the Workforce Development Program. This program has approximately 100 participants that volunteer on their own time for weekly programming; learning what it takes to be a Rochester Police Officer.

As a result of those recruitment efforts we had 798 applicants for our fall exam; a nearly 50 percent increase of 367 from 2021. Not only have our overall numbers of candidates risen, but the number of minority candidates has risen as well. Our current academy class of 24 recruits is nearly 50 percent people of color.

As we move into 2023, we pledge to not only build upon these anti-violence efforts, but to build our relationship with the members of our community. I’m pleased to have brought on Deputy Chief Keith Stith to head our Community Affairs Bureau. Keith Stith comes to us from New Jersey, where he has an extensive background in building police-community relationships in an urban policing environment. Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Stith, the Community Affairs Bureau is expanding community partnerships with ALL of our residents, including those new to our community with the New American Initiative. They are rebuilding street based efforts such as PAC-TAC and the Youth Advisory Council, while at the same time engaging our major community stakeholders such as Wegmans, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb.

This also includes an internship program developed in association with the Rochester City School District that will see our Officers engaging with our youth that are interested in law enforcement careers. During spring recess this year, interested middle school students will be given the opportunity to learn about law enforcement careers such as Operations, K9, and Community Engagement.

In a true community policing approach, the Rochester Police Department is working with the owners of establishments in the East End Entertainment District to improve and promote public safety. Every month, members of the RPD are meeting with the Entertainment District Leaders to address public safety concerns, develop standards fitted for policing in a nightlife environment, and continue to build and foster relationships to make the Entertainment District a safer place.

We are also continuing to build our relationships with our partner law enforcement agencies. The Rochester Police Department is honored to have been selected as one of six sites to be entered into the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Partnership Program. This is a collaboration of law enforcement agencies across the nation that work together to not only identify training and logistical needs, but enacting a solution to fill those needs.

As we continue to move into 2023, the Rochester Police Department pledges to harness the power of cooperation and coordination to hold those that bring violence to our community, accountable for their actions. We are ready and willing to partner with anyone that wants to join hands with us to make our community a safer place.

There’s No “Public Safety” Without the “Public” – to accomplish our goals, the entire community must be all in.

Community members can learn more about how to productively participate in Rochester’s Public Safety efforts:

 Get Involved — Violence Prevention 

Mayor's Remaks:

Traditionally, the RPD used to hold a news conference about this time each year to talk about the numbers and statistics from the year before: Which crimes are up and which are down. Frankly, that’s an exercise in spin doctoring: When crime is down, we take credit. When it’s up, we deflect blame.

So, I want to commend Chief Smith and this team for taking a different approach this year. Instead of talking about the numbers – all of which can be found on the Open Data Portal, by the way – Chief Smith and his team provided some insight into the story behind the numbers. It’s a story they can only now begin to talk about.

All year long, they were hammered with the same question over and over again: What are you doing about all this violence? As you learned today, they were doing a lot. And what they were doing was effective. But they couldn’t tell you about some of the most important things they were doing because that would have compromised ongoing investigations.

They were engaged in very intensive police work, building cases with a host of partner organizations. It was the opposite of “stop and frisk.” Instead of flooding entire neighborhoods with officers and disrupting the lives of law-abiding citizens for having a broken tail light, they took a laser-focused approach to so-called street segments – the intersections and blocks where the shootings were happening.

They gathered evidence to arrest the most violent offenders, and take guns off the street. And as the shooting death of Officer Mazurkiewicz made clear, the work was not only labor intensive and time consuming, it was very, very dangerous. But they kept at it, leading to the arrest of people like Brandon Washington and Rasheem Sullivan.

And even as they were dealing with the immediate crisis of violence, they were looking ahead to the future: building up their community-engagement programs under Chief Stith; revamping the recruitment with the Workforce Development Program; and creating Officer Wellness programs. I am looking forward to talking more about those proactive measures in the year ahead.

Don’t get me wrong. Nobody is declaring victory. Crime and violence is still way too high in our city. But I do see reasons for hope. I hope – I pray – that we are on the other side of the peak of what I have called the “pandemic of violence.”

I see confirmation we must continue to address crime and violence with our three part strategy of Prevention, Intervention and Suppression. I want to thank the men and women of the Rochester Police Department for their work on the Suppression side. And I want to thank our partner agencies in law enforcement for their help.

And on the Prevention and Intervention side, we will continue moving forward with the programs in the Office of Violence Prevention and the Department of Recreation and Human Services. You can find more detailed descriptions of those programs, along with the work of the Rochester Fire Department and the Emergency Communications Department, in the “City of Rochester Public Safety Strategies” booklet we just produced.

 Click here to download the City of Rochester Public Safety Strategies booklet >> 

Most importantly, we will re-double our efforts to encourage more community involvement in the work of crime reduction and violence prevention. Because the story behind the numbers and statistics isn’t the RPD’s story. It’s not the Mayor’s story. It’s Rochester’s story. And for that story to have the ending we all want, we must tell it together. Thank you.

Prevention Intervention Suppression
Productive days and a hope-filled future are the best deterrents to engaging in risky or violent activities. Job skills and readiness training, developmental programming, and one-on-one engagement helps provide bright opportunities and discourage violence.  “People who hurt, hurt people.” Those who find themselves in a cycle of violence often require targeted intervention and focused support to consider nonviolent alternatives to disputes, discover new paths beyond gangs or drugs, and receive necessary mental health services. Law enforcement is only one-third of a holistic approach to addressing violence, but ensuring that people who perpetuate violence are held accountable for their actions is crucial to the success of any violence prevention program.


Crime Prevention