ROCHESTER, Minn- In a part of The Med City where during normal times, they have a large presence, Rochester Police Department has been getting dispatched to downtown less. Ever since the pandemic has forced bars to close and restaurants to not have indoor dining, downtown has been experiencing fewer crowds.
"It's been a change from what is normal and I think most people in this community are ready to get back to normal in a safe manner," said Captain John Sherwin. "I think once we have a vaccine in place and there's a return to normalcy, the police department will be prepared."
When bars and restaurants do reopen, RPD plans to have an increased presence downtown again, especially on the weekends.
"We always bolster staffing, particularly on weekends, in the entertainment areas of the community and with a return to some capacity, will also increase staffing," explained Sherwin.
Usually when bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues are busy, downtown is a busy area for the police. The department also dedicates staff to patrol there.