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Brede: Three good potential police chiefs

Three finalists to be Rochester's next police chief will be in the city Wednesday as they meet with city staff and participate in a public forum.

Roy Alston

Mayor Ardell Brede said he feels confident about Rochester’s next police chief.

"We won’t go wrong, I think, with what we’ve got for the final three," he said.

The three finalists to replace Police Chief Roger Peterson were announced Thursday after the top five of 35 applicants were interviewed last week.

The three will be back in town Wednesday to meet with police department staff members and city leadership before participating in a community forum that evening.

"It’s going to be a grueling day for them, but it will be fun to watch," said Linda Hillenbrand, Rochester’s human resources director.


She said the community forum, which will be moderated by Rochester resident George Thompson, is intended to gather opinions on an important decision.

"I think our strategy is really good overall," Hillenbrand said. "I feel comfortable with it."

The final decision will be in Brede’s hands after gathering input and finalizing the process with the city’s Police Civil Service Commission.

The mayor said he’s looking for a chief who can offer leadership for the growing city and stay involved in the community.

While he said Peterson has done a good job shepherding the city’s police force for 20 years, Brede said he sees growing challenges for the next chief as Destination Medical Center and related growth continues to transform the city.

"We’re growing," he said. "It’s not the same city that it was when Chief Peterson took over.

"This would take us to the next step."

Ready for the challenge


Brede said he feels all three finalists would be able to lead that next step.

The finalists are:

Dallas Police Lt. Roy Alston

Alston serves as commander investigations unit and community engagement unit commander of the of the city’s Northeast Patrol Division.

According to his LinkedIn page , he started as a patrol officer with the department in 2003. Prior to that, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1989.

He has a doctorate in management from Walden University and has written three books, including "The Leader’s Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals."

Prior Lake Police Chief Mark Elliot

Elliot served with the Bloomington Police Department for 21 years, rising to commander before taking the helm of the Prior Lake department in 2015.


He earned a bachelor of science degree in police science from Saint Mary’s University in 2014 and has nearly a decade of supervisor and training officer experience in many areas of police work, including patrol, crime prevention, dispatch, narcotics and homicide, according to the Prior Lake website .

Metropolitan Transit Police Capt. James Franklin

Franklin oversees the West Command Division of Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Transit Police.

He is a certified State of Minnesota emergency manager, past president of the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Association and an adjunct instructor for the National Transit Institute, according to masstransitmag.com .

He earned a master’s degree from Metropolitan State University in public administration — law enforcement.

Next steps

After the finalists’ visit Wednesday, the Police Civil Service Commission will be provided background investigation information to certify the three applicants for Brede’s final selection.

The mayor is responsible for naming the police chief and informing the city council of his decision. The chief, in turn, is overseen by the mayor.


Hillenbrand said no timeframe has been set, but a decision could be made before Peterson retires on April 25.

"Hopefully we will have an offer extended before Roger leaves," she said, noting it could take a month for the new chief to start after accepting an offer.

What: Community forum with police chief finalists

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Suites 102 and 103 of the Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE

Format: The forum will be moderated by George Thompson, who will ask the finalists questions, which will not be provided to the participants before the event. Further details are being finalized.



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