ROCHESTER, Minn- Police agencies across our nation have had their hands full lately. Many agencies are having difficulties in recruiting new officers. Still, the Rochester Police Department is growing. Tuesday, eight new officers were sworn in. Taylor Holty and Mitch Fitzgerald will soon be the new cops on the block. Holty says she's impressed with the way the department handles mental health issues. She's looking forward to making a difference on the beat.
"I think it's just a super-strong department all around," said Holty. "Even throughout the interview process. I can just tell that officers here are happy. They are supported, and they are encouraged to go out and serve with their heart.
Mitch Fitzgerald interviewed at seven different departments. He says he picked RPD because of the department's leadership and because they have a good reputation across the state.
"Rochester has always been a premier department honestly," Fitzgerald said. "There are so many possiblities within the department."
"We have patrol operations investigations, crime scene processing, community action team, school resource officer, crisis negotiation unit," said Jim Franklin, Police Chief at the Rochester Police Department. "If you look at the Rochester Police Department as a whole, there is a variety of assignments and opportunities for new officers.
Franklin predicts once covid is over, the department can get back to running the citizens academy.
"I think there is going to be a lot more interest in the citizen's academy,"said Franklin. "I do think that there is a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding about the profession of law enforcement. So that is an opportunity for us to educate the public."