Rochester police increasing traffic patrols through end of the year

The added patrols are funded through a grant from the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) campaign.

One of the new Rochester Police Department vehicles Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist /

Rochester police are increasing weekend traffic patrols through the end of year in the wake of rising traffic-related fatalities across the state.

The department announced the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) campaign funded extra shifts Thursday morning.

“We want our families and yours to be safe this holiday season, and that’s why RPD is making traffic enforcement a top priority. Drive smart by slowing down, paying attention, planning a sober ride and always buckling up,” Police Chief Jim Franklin said in a statement.

Already this year, 445 people have died on Minnesota roads. Speed-related crashes are fueling the increase but other factors including weather conditions and increased alcohol consumption are also factors. The Rochester Police Department's dedicated DWI officer will also be working extra shifts throughout the season beginning the week of Thanksgiving.

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