In October of 1999 the Rochester Police department entered into a full time joint venture with the Rochester Housing Authority. This collaboration began with assigning a full time uniformed patrol officer to work directly with the Housing Authority. This officer has been responsible for manning the police sub- station located in the center of Cold Spring Manor which is a low income family development owned and managed by the Rochester Housing Authority. The officer is also responsible for patrolling Wyandotte Falls, Wellsweep Acre’s, Colonial Village and elderly housing on Walnut Ave. east Rochester.
The responsibilities of the Housing Resource Officer have grown over the years. The function of this officer is not simply patrol but working directly with the residents in a pro-active approach to problem solving and improving their quality of life. The officer also works closely on a daily basis with the Housing Authority to identify problem areas and offer advice pertaining to public safety issues in Public Housing.
Over the years the partnership between the Police Department and the Housing Authority has expanded to include PlusTirne NH and the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation. With the help of these two organizations the Housing Authority has been able to offer its family residents a Youth Safe Haven at the Cold Spring Manor site. This Safe Haven has the potential to serve all school aged children within Cold Spring Manor. In addition it operates in direct conjunction with the Police Sub-Station. The Safe Haven provides a homework lab with a full time and part time staff of volunteers. The Resource Officer works directly with a full time civilian director in providing a police resource to the children. The Officer attends monthly field trips with the children as an adult chaperone and acts as an adult mentor to many of the children that attend the Safe Haven.
Future expansions to the program include the building of a small recreation center within the Cold Spring Manor site. The Resource Officer is also working with several neighborhood youth on steps toward erecting a mini-skateboard park that would be available to the children of Cold Spring Manor.
Housing Officer Thomas Blair