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Mayor Smith signs gun violence emergency order

By: Daily Record Staff//December 28, 2021

Mayor Smith signs gun violence emergency order

By: Daily Record Staff//December 28, 2021//

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Rochester Mayor James P. Smith has issued a gun violence emergency order giving Police Chief David M. Smith the authority to close businesses if they have a record of creating a public nuisance.

Gun violence in Rochester, since January, is up 95% over the previous year. As of Dec. 22, there have been 345 shooting incidents this year, injuring 415 people. And the number of homicides in 2021 is the highest ever.

Many of the shootings have occurred at commercial establishments, such as restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues. When shootings happen at those types of businesses, they are more likely to cause injury to multiple victims because of the number of people gathered, according to city officials.

The mayor’s order gives Chief Smith the power to close commercial buildings when a property has accrued 12 nuisance points in the previous six months, or 18 nuisance points in the previous 12 months and the property is deemed to be a public nuisance.

Points against a property are counted even if there is a pending application for review before the city’s Nuisance Advisory Board.

Points are assessed to properties when certain violations occur there that negatively impact the quality of life in the area.

The chief also can close a property if, during the 30 days leading up the order, a shooting has occurred at the property or immediately adjacent to the property, as a result of the operation of the business.

Properties that are closed will stay closed as long as the Mayor Smith’s Proclamation of Local Emergency due to Gun Violence is in effect.

When a closed property has entered into a nuisance abatement or resolution plan with the city, and there have been no further nuisance violations, the chief has the authority to let the property reopen.

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