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RPD lays out safety, accountability and community engagement plan

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- On Monday, Rochester Police Chief, Jim Franklin, presented a 23 page packet to the City Council that outlined the department's efforts for safety, accountability and community engagement.

Following the meeting, Franklin sat down with FOX 47 on the department's policies. He said RPD's future is bright.

"I think the path forward is taking a hard look, a reflective look in the mirror of how we deliver police services for this community," Franklin said.

The sit down comes 6 days since since RPD's Policy Oversight Commission voted the department should consider changes to the use of carotid control.

"It would not be used on a restrained or non-deadly force encounter," Franklin said.

In 2019, RPD officers used force 176 times. 16 percent of those encounters resulted in a citizen being injured. An officer was injured in 11 percent of the encounters.

Data collected for 2020 so far shows, use of force 64 times, citizens injured 22 percent of the time and. Officers have been injured in 11 percent of the encounters.

"A huge component of this job, of this profession, is talking to people, relating to people. And part of that is obviously and a key component of the job is de-escalation," said Franklin.

In addition, he said officers are trained to know that every person they come in contact with matters.

"One of the other things that I am asking the cops, to ask is as you walk away from an interaction, the question you should be asking is, 'did I just treat that person like I would want or want my family member to be treated?' And getting to the heart of policing is what I am talking about," Franklin said.

He also wants officers to remember the department's core values.

"I'm asking the officers to double down on our core values. Our core values of service integrity, respect and compassion," he said.

Franklin also announced RPD will soon be making all officers do a daily policy overview at the beginning of each shift.

KaMaria Braye

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