Rochester and Policing in 2020

Edit: Added links at the bottom to information about Rochester Police Policies.

This post is largely to serve as an acknowledgement that I don’t have the answers, nor do I have a plan. I have seen far too many people of color murdered by privileged whites and police. People are right to be angry. The Minneapolis Police Department is particularly bad. I have said for years that any organization that would elect a racist like Bob Kroll to represent them; should not continue to exist. Looks like that will finally happen. I will leave the comments section open below.

I see concerns in our community. I could tell story after story of good work and genuine caring for the community that have come from local officers. I personally know many of our officers and they have a deep love for Rochester and the people who live here. I have also seen some ugly things that were handled to varying degrees of what I thought was appropriate.

I also need to be honest with the community and acknowledge that I am not an expert on public safety. I have often looked to Mark Bilderback on these issue. He taught me about community led policing and crime prevention through environmental design. I have some particular skill in finance & infrastructure. That is where I spend most of my time.

Ultimately I want the community to decide what our Police Department looks like. I am open to suggestions. I encourage people to send me your ideas.

In Rochester, the Police Chief answers to the Mayor directly. The Council must approve the annual budget. I do want to let you know that I continue to try to read and respond to every note and call I receive.

We did create a police policy oversight commission. If there are policies that we need to change, I think this is a time for review.

We have changed our hiring practices. While change will take time, newer classes are far more reflective of the community.

I want to acknowledge that these issues also exist in Rochester. I also want to acknowledge that the previous mayor used “pulling a Kaepernick” as a derogatory phrase aimed and Nick Campion & I for trying to end the practice of unrecorded dinner meetings. He went on to sit on a jury that acquitted a white man who retrieved a gun from a car and killed a black man at point blank range. He was the head of our Police Department for 16 years. I want to acknowledge that many in law enforcement, including our sheriff, can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that George Floyd was murdered by 4 police officers. Edit: I will update this to say our Sheriff is now rightfully referring to George Floyd’s death as a murder.

So I am listening, I am angry too, I will continue to march, I will be accessible, I am open to rebuilding our systems for the benefit of all in our community.

I believe that #BlackLivesMatter and I want #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.

Rochester Police Department Policies & Practices

NAACP / Rochester 4 Justice Virtual Town Hall

Rochester compliance with #8cantwait criteria


  1. Far more unarmed white people are killed by cops every year! Black on black crime kills more blacks! And you need to learn how to present facts, this whole thing you wrote is WRONG!!! State the facts!!!

  2. Thank you for this post. It’s critical that we move toward a future that provides justice for all people and accountability for those with power. I look forward to a future where the police have a much smaller role in our society and Black people are treated with the same dignity and respect as white people.

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