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City Council poised to repeal funding for new police station

Gino Fanelli/CITY

Rochester City Council will consider legislation at their next meeting to repeal the funding they recently approved for a new police station. And it appears there are the six votes needed to rescind that funding that was approved last month.

A statement released Friday from Council President Loretta Scott and Councilmembers Mitch Gruber and Mary Lupien calls for repealing the earlier legislation that would borrow $12.5 million toward the $16 million police station and neighborhood service center on East Main Street.

Scott pointed to the video of the actions that led to Daniel Prude’s death last March, and this week’s retirements in the police department, including Chief La’Ron Singletary.

“Much has changed in our community since we met in August to discuss this project," she said. "We learned of and saw the gruesome video of Daniel Prude’s death in March, this coupled with the recent retirements and voluntary demotions of the entire RPD Command Staff, has led the Council to reconsider the appropriateness of the project at this time.”  

Councilmember Mitch Gruber said that, “The vote last month was the culmination of more than five years of planning to create a five-section model of policing in Rochester. Since the vote, we learned of the tragic death of Daniel Prude while in police custody that occurred in March. This has caused a breach of trust in the community that makes it critical to repeal last month’s legislation, hold off on bonding for these dollars, and reassess the long-term plan.”

Local activists like Free The People Roc have also called for not going ahead with funding the new police station. But some Council members also pointed out that since most of the money for the project was going to be borrowed, it’s not like they have a lot of money sitting around that they can immediately reallocate to other priorities. 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.