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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester Police Department has issued a news release in response to the police reform bill that was passed by the state legislature this week.

The statement says its review of the legislation indicates it is  “already in compliance with the majority of reforms outlined in the bill.”

 

The department also notes Chief Jim Franklin took action after the death of George Floyd to make some policy changes. Among them: permitting chokeholds only in situations involving deadly force and making the duty to intervene a stand-alone policy for his officers. 

RPD recently launched a new accountability "digital dashboard" to provide the public with easy access to a variety of statistics concerning policing in the city.

Franklin also released a report that highlighted a reduction in the use of force by his officers. Last year, there were 176 incidents involving police of force and through the first half of this year, that number has dropped to 64.

Here is the RPD news release:

As the Rochester Police Department (RPD) begins to read through the Police Reform Bill that was passed late last night, we are pleased to report that we are already in compliance with the majority of reforms outlined in the bill. When Chief Jim Franklin began as Chief of Police two years ago, he pledged to lead RPD to become the premier law enforcement agency in the state.

This included a strong focus and belief in 21st century police leadership. He implemented changes to our training program to include crisis intervention training, emphasizing de-escalation training in our yearly use of force training, implicit bias training, fair and impartial policing and cultural awareness training. Chief Franklin also partnered with local medical organizations to provide functional fitness training and piloted mental health psychological check-ins for officers.

After the tragic death of George Floyd, Chief Franklin changed RPD's policy on choke holds (carotid restraint) to use in deadly force only situations and made the duty to intervene a stand-alone policy. As an organization, RPD continues to work with our appointed committee/commission and community to continue to provide the highest level of public safety and service in Rochester, MN.

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