New York mayor declares state of emergency amid skyrocketing violent crime

Amid rising violent crime, an upstate New York mayor has declared a state of emergency in her city.

“Today, Mayor Warren is declaring a state of emergency to ensure additional resources are brought to bear with one clear goal: removing violent criminals from our neighborhoods,” read a joint statement Friday from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot.

“These individuals have already committed crimes, are wanted for additional crimes and are most likely to be perpetrating the violence we are seeing today. This action ensures we are doing all we can to remove these violent criminals from our streets,” the statement added.

According to WHEC-TV, the city has seen its highest number of homicides on record this year: 71. Just on Thursday alone, three people were killed in two separate incidents.

For reference, there were 28 homicides in 2018 and 32 in 2019, Fox News reported.

And there have been even more violent incidents that did not result in death.

“As of November 8, 2021, there have been 301 shooting incidents in calendar year 2021 resulting in injuries to 360 victims,” the executive order said. 

Gun Violence Emergency Proc… by News10NBC

The statement from Warren and Lightfoot said it’s important for citizens to call the authorities when they see a crime taking place.

“We also need our residents to step up and protect their neighborhoods as well. If you see something, say something, call 911 and report it,” the statement said. “None of us can tolerate what is happening. The costs are, and have been, too great.”

Speaking at a news conference Friday, interim Rochester Police Chief David Smith talked about the “grim milestone” that the city reached.

“We hit a grim milestone in the city,” he said, WROC-TV reported. “Seventy-one murders, 71 members of our community who will not be with us as we enter what should be a joyous holiday season. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters — their absences will leave holes in our community and it weighs heavily on our hearts.”

And he emphasized the importance of building relationships.

“We have lost a lot of the relationships that made our community strong,” Smith said. “Go next door, go across the street, offer a hand to your neighbor, introduce ourselves. How many of us really know our neighbors?”