ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Trini Ross, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, says preventing guns from entering local communities is one piece of the puzzle in battling crime.
“I want the public to know it’s a different day,” said Ross. “It’s a new administration. We see them. We hear them.”
What You Need To Know
- The U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York came to Rochester to talk about crime-fighting strategies
- Trini Ross says her administration will work with the community on many levels to not just solve, but prevent crimes from taking place
- U.S. Attorney Ross says the governor’s meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns is a piece of the overall crime-fighting and prevention puzzle
In office for just a few short months, Ross says she plans to solve problems, not just put bandages on them — and she says it means taking a community approach.
“But I truly always felt like if I don’t hear from the people, I don’t know how to best serve,” said Ross. “And we are public servants.”
Ross responded to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s meeting of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns held on Wednesday. It’s a multi-state effort to share intelligence, tools, tactics and strategies to combat gun violence, particularly focusing on trafficking on firearms between states.
“It’s an important point to trace how the guns are getting into our community,” said Ross. “But that’s one point. The other point is, where are the guns being kept once they’re in the communities, right? So that’s something I’m working with law enforcement to look into. The third point is, who’s using those guns? And the fourth point is, why?”
Ross is planning to hire a community liaison for her team to help answer some of these questions and help solve crime in her district, recognizing the significant spike.
“People in the community, they know things and they’re not telling law enforcement for whatever their reasons are,” she said. “Well, we need to understand why. And once we gain their trust, they will tell us they know where the guns are being stored. They know who’s using them. And they probably know the why.”
Ross not only addressed the increase in violence for the general public, but also the increase in violence against police officers, saying, “They go out every day. They’re on the front lines.”
Ross also commented on the deaths of two NYPD officers gunned down in Harlem last Friday.
“That is horrible,” she said. “I have a son who’s in law enforcement, and that, you know, it’s heartbreaking and heart-wrenching and infuriating, all at the same time. So my comment to that is if anybody thinks they’re going to target law enforcement, they need to think again. Because society is not having it and I, as U.S. attorney in this district, am not having it.”
Ross is also working on a preventive level to fight crime, including securing a $10 million grant to sink into community programs and efforts.
“I’m the top law enforcement official in the Western District of New York, which is 17 counties,” said Ross. “I want to fight crime, but I want to do it in a smart way and I want to do it in a deliberate way.”