WATCH: Rochester Police holds conference on recent shootings and violent crimes
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Rochester Police Department (RPD) held a news conference Thursday to talk about the Department’s response to recent shootings and other violent crimes in Rochester.
The conference was held by RPD Chief Jim Franklin who was also joined by Patrol Captain Aaron Penning, Captain Casey Moilanen and County Attorney Mark Ostrem.
Chief Franklin said the conference was held to highlight the work and response efforts of RPD and its officers regarding recent crimes and shootings and future efforts.
During the conference, RPD said there have been 11 shootings so far this year in Rochester. That number is more than the 10 shootings by this time last year.
RPD said most shootings are drug related and that Olmsted County is considered a high drug trafficking area. These incidents are considered a high priority for RPD and it rapidly deploys resources necessary to resolve and respond to them.
Chief Franklin touched on the new initiative RPD has internally to create a violence disruption task force. He said this includes linking up different units from all RPD divisions such as its patrol division, investigative division and intel division. This group initiates a response to identify suspects, track them down, and interrupt the cycle of violence for that specific incident. Chief Franklin said this unified approach has worked very well despite current staffing challenges.
This new approach has resulted in eight arrests, the execution of three search warrants and seven guns seized in just the last couple weeks alone.
So far this year, RPD has recovered 23 guns in Rochester.
RPD provided photos of some of the guns it has seized over the year. See that photo below:
Chief Franklin broke down some of the most recent incidents to emphasize the new approach. See the breakdown below:
- July 1 - RPD conducted three search warrants related to the drug-related shooting that happened May 2 on 11th St. The warrants resulted in five parties arrested and the confiscation of seven guns. Counterfeit money, pills, meth and marijuana were also confiscated.
- June 24 - RPD sent its investigative unit to Austin tracking a suspect following multiple convenient store robberies involving a knife. RPD traced the suspect by a vehicle related to the Casey’s and Shell store robberies on June 16. The suspect was charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.
- June 17 - RPD worked with Winona Police Department to track and arrest a suspect that RPD identified from a shooting at a Holiday gas station June 15. That suspect has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, drive-by shooting towards a person, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felony possession of a firearm.
Chief Franklin said crimes like the ones listed above are incredibly complex that require significant collaboration.
Community collaboration was discussed and RPD is asking the community to continue that collaboration by contacting RPD when violent crimes are witnessed.
Chief Franklin said the bottom line of the conference is to know “If you commit a violent act in this community, you are our priority. And we are going to very proactively respond to these incidents to make this community safer.”
You can watch the full conference below:
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