City of Rochester News Release -- Mayor Evans Seeking Method to Better Report Police Earnings, Overtime Cost

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022) – Mayor Malik D. Evans today instructed senior staff to develop a method to accurately provide Rochester Police earnings and overtime costs to the public along with context about factors that drive those costs.

New York public employee earnings are currently hosted on the SeeThroughNY.Net website, an open data portal maintained by the Empire Center for Public Policy—an Albany think tank that promotes government reforms. However, that information includes several inaccuracies and lacks context that may help city residents and taxpayers better understand the challenges and opportunities facing City government and the costs they incur.

Mayor Evans, who has long been committed to using the latest technology to share City data, said he decided to develop a better reporting method after reviewing the portal’s subset of Rochester Police Department Officer earnings that showed some Officers earned more than $200,000 last year.

“In the middle of the twin pandemics of violent crime and COVID-19, presenting these numbers in a vacuum without context has the potential to generate more heat than light, and that is not what we need right now,” said Mayor Evans. “If we are going to adopt a community-first approach to public safety, where the police and the community work together in a spirit of collaboration, everyone has to have as much access to the same information as possible.”

The former chair of the City Council Finance Committee, Mayor Evans said he is always concerned about the costs of government and the pressure it puts on the residents of a city with some of the nation’s highest rates of poverty. But he is equally concerned with the public safety challenges the numbers represent. The RPD currently has more than 70 vacancies during a period of unprecedented violent crime, which is driving overtime costs for patrol officers and major crimes detectives. Mayor Evans is currently searching for a permanent chief of police, but the first steps toward long-term changes to police operations are already underway. The Department is developing stepped-up recruitment plans to fill the vacancies.

“The primary driving factor behind these costs is the amount of overtime we are paying to an understaffed, overworked Police Department whose people are trying to protect and serve a community experiencing incredible levels of violent crime,” said Mayor Evans. “Some of our officers are working more than 80 hours a week, and that’s not good for the officers or the community. I deeply appreciate the work of the Rochester Police Department. It is time is to reimagine our approach to public safety, and that is going to require community input. We have to start now by providing the public with the information they need to help us make the best decisions.”


News Media: For more information, contact Director of Communications Barbara Pierce at Barbara.Pierce@CityofRochester.Gov.


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