Rochester Police Department officers and future Marine Corps enlistees — known as poolees — competed in physical training exercises in the ice and snow Thursday evening.

The event came as a response to a 911 call police received on Jan. 12, reporting that 16 people were fighting and one person appeared dead near 3125 Wellner Drive Northeast. When numerous police vehicles responded to the scene, they discovered it was the Marines and poolees conducting their regular Tuesday physical training.

In response to the misunderstanding, RPD Chief Jim Franklin and Marine Corps Sgt. Zac Zanella set up a physical training challenge to unite the two groups.

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“What I would like to get across is two things: One, we get 'ambient' calls all the time. We don’t know what we’re getting called to,” Franklin said. “But what we are good at is vetting through what’s in front of us, quickly sorting out and dissecting the problem in front of us, and making good decisions."

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"Two is we’re an agency that values community connectedness and community engagement, so when I heard that call, we got some guys together and said, ‘Let’s do this,’ and go have some fun with it, although I don’t know if this is a good definition of fun!”

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Alex Pohle was present for the physical training session on Jan. 12. Seeing six to seven squad cars pull up was startling, he said, but he understood after getting the full story behind the situation.

“What they got a call for was a big fight breaking out, so what they think they’re going into is the complete opposite, so it’s kind of the same stress that we run into,” he said.

The poolees and officers started the training challenge with individual exercises including burpees, crunches and bear crawls, all the while racing to finish first.

A few of the officers were already regretting their decision to come that night.

“Terrible idea,” one officer joked as he crawled on the snow packed down so it had become ice.

“I thought this was checkers,” another officer said while doing burpees.

The next event was a tire-flipping race. The two groups of officers won comfortably over the poolees.

Franklin admitted they went into the race with an advantage.

Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

“We have a few former Marines in our group, so the deck was stacked,” he said.

The final event was a relay race while carrying ammunition crates, which the officers also won.

Between events, Franklin addressed the Jan. 12 incident with the poolees. He explained the call police received and how it was handled. Franklin ended the conversation by wishing the poolees good luck with their future service and to not be shy about joining his agency once they exit the Marines.

Pohle said it meant a lot to see Franklin not only reach out to organize the physical challenge, but to also be there competing himself.

“To see him come out here and help out one of the local Marine recruiters was awesome,” Pohle said. “We’re always trying to merge, and a lot of people think Marine recruiters or just military recruiters are out for numbers, when we actually care about everyone that we talk to.”

Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Chief Jim Franklin, of the Rochester Police Department, runs in a relay race with fellow RPD officers as part of a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Chief Jim Franklin, of the Rochester Police Department, runs in a relay race with fellow RPD officers as part of a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Chief Jim Franklin, of the Rochester Police Department, runs in a relay race with fellow RPD officers as part of a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Chief Jim Franklin, of the Rochester Police Department, runs in a relay race with fellow RPD officers as part of a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rochester Police Department officers take part in a physical training challenge against Marine Corps poolees Thursday evening, Jan. 21, 2021, outside the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station in Rochester. A poolee is someone who has signed up for the Marine Corps, but has not left for training at boot camp. The challenge was in response to an earlier incident where a person mistook physical training outside the recruiting station for a fight and called the police. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)