Status of Rochester

Located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Rochester is a city that's seen many ups and downs in its long history. Although spared much direct conflict during the course of the Second Civil War, it suffered considerable economic and civil troubles, and in terms of prosperity and well-being remains firmly in one of those "down" periods. This page summarizes Rochester's current status in terms of public figures and services, as well as conditions that potentially affect most to all of the city.

Major Figures

Mayor
Evan Schultz The 68th mayor of Rochester, Democrat Evan Schultz has held the position since 2011, and to all appearances his leadership seems poised to persist. He is best known for championing economic development in the city, promoting renewable energy and sustainable practices during urban renewal efforts, and maintaining good relations with both city unions and the major corporations in Rochester. Liberal detractors complain he doesn't do enough on the fronts of living wages, healthcare, and taxes, to which Schultz's standing counterargument emphasizes the need for an economically healthy city to support those things.
Chief of Police
William Harris William Harris came to be police chief in 2013, when his predecessor was arrested for actions on behalf of Humanis First during and preceding the war. Harris is known for being scrupulously upright, likely in the interest of distancing himself from the man he succeeded, but also for being a proponent of the "tough on crime" school of policing — doubly so when suspects are SLC-E. His stance mirrors the majority of the force beneath him, as well as a significant percentage of the populace, encouraged by events from the war and more recent criminal activities in Rochester.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement in Rochester is the province of the Rochester Police Department, consisting of some 400 officers. After the war concluded, the department reorganized its patrols into a neighborhood beat structure with a focus on community interaction and relationships. However, Rochester's police are historically known for taking a "tough" stance on minor crimes and minorities and for the use of aggressive crowd control tactics. The department has also been under a consent decree and thus federal oversight regarding its hiring practices since 1975.

Rochester is notable for being the fifth "most surveilled" city in the entire US, counting traffic cameras, red light cameras, police surveillance cameras, and authorized wiretaps. The Police Overt Digital Surveillance System, launched in 2008, consists of more than 100 bulletproof and relocatable surveillance cameras throughout the city that are connected through wireless infrastructure mesh technology to a control center staffed 24-7.

News and Media

Rochester's major daily newspaper is the non-partisan Democrat and Chronicle, which continues to maintain high readership throughout the city and has even seen something of a resurgence in the wake of the civil war. The paper also offers digital marketing and video services.

In terms of TV news, the ABC affiliate WHAM-TV (channel 13) is Rochester's most prominent station, having led broadcast news ratings for the past four decades. Its newscasts are also streamed live through the station's website.

Rochester's leading AM radio station, WHAM 1180, features talk radio with an emphasis on national programs, news, weather, and sports; it is known for a distinctly conservative slant. The station also airs "Coast to Coast AM", a late-night UFO/conspiracy/paranormal program. Its programs are broadcast from an exceptionally high-powered transmitter; during the day, the station can be heard across the entirety of western New York and part of southern Ontario, while at night its signal can be picked up across much of eastern North America.

Infrastructure Status

Power, Water, and Gas

Regular service is available throughout the city.

Internet and Phone

Landline internet (cable, DSL) and phone service remains available through the city's two major ISPs; the smaller ISPs have mostly foundered due to economic issues. Cellular service is also widely available; however, patchy coverage and dead zones are common, particularly on the southern side of the city.

The city has also rolled out municipal wireless service based on existing fiberoptic cables run through the sewer lines. This is primarily available downtown. Businesses can contract for direct access to the fiberoptic lines, which has become a substantial source of revenue for the city.

Transportation

Many of Rochester's roads are in poor condition, particularly in outlying or poorer neighborhoods. Most regular maintenance is concentrated on downtown and arterial roads.

City buses are the only form of public transit in Rochester. They operate on a "spoke" system without any official hub station; all routes converge on East Main Street in downtown.

Rochester's airport, long one of the busiest in the state, has become a hub since the devastation of New York City. However, flights to the reconstructed Safe Zone are provided only by private charters, which operate on an irregular schedule according to demand. Flights between Rochester and the Safe Zone take an hour and fifteen minutes.

Passenger rail and bus lines also provide once-daily routes running to and from the Safe Zone, a trip that takes about seven hours and runs through a number of other cities along the way.

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