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Project Exile Community Report
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Project Exile Community Report


Due to the pandemic, it has been four years since we hosted our Project Exile Community Report, and what used to be an annual event that held great importance was turned into a distant memory. That is why I was so pleased to announce that this year we were able to host the first Project Exile Community Report since 2019 on November 1, 2023.

Project Exile is a joint initiative between local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as various community organizations that strive to decrease the possession of illegal guns and create a safer Rochester community. Rochester was only the second city in the country to implement this program after the homicide rate reached 70 deaths per year in the late 1990s. It is overseen by the Project Exile Advisory Board which meets monthly in the Rochester Federal Building. This program has not only taken thousands of illegal guns off the streets but has also created a level of agency cooperation that is unheard of in other cities. We are happy to say that, in Rochester, our law enforcement agencies, -- whether local or federal, -- work together to keep our streets as safe as possible.

The Project Exile Community Report gives member agencies a platform to speak to the community about gun violence and to report what their agency has done in the past year to combat the issues that plague our city. The highlight of this year’s breakfast was the honor of hosting and hearing from the Director of the ATF, Steven Dettelbach, who served as our keynote speaker. We were thrilled to have him attend thanks to the influence of the local ATF Agent in Charge, Michael Curran, and to hear the valuable information he had to share about ATF’s nationwide fight against gun violence. I was delighted to also have Governor Kathy Hochul and her husband, former US Attorney Bill Hochul, attend. I used to work closely with Bill through Project Exile when he was the US Attorney for the western district, and it was great to see them both in person again.

We opened the event with remarks from Governor Hochul and Director Dettelbach, followed by community reports from the FBI, US Attorney’s Office, US Marshals Service, Department of Public Safety, the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police and more. But by far the most memorable moment of the breakfast for me was when Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter, presented me with the key to the county, and then I was presented with a plaque from Agent Mike Curran on behalf of ATF and RPD. Both were unexpected, but such wonderful surprises. The kind words that were said by both Mike and Adam meant more to me than they will ever know; it truly meant the world and I will cherish both gifts for a long time to come.

The Project Exile Advisory Board will resume in December to continue its much-needed work. We hope to see the day when Project Exile will be of no use and the streets of Rochester are finally safe for our community.