Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new project was announced Tuesday that organizers hope will build trust between the Rochester law enforcement community and recently-arrived immigrants.

The Rochester Police Dept. is teaming up with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the County Attorney, Fire Dept and others to offer a series of workshops that is being called New Americans Academy.

RPD Sgt John Mitchell, Chief Jim Franklin/photo by Kim David TSM

RPD Sgt. John Mitchell says the goal is to give immigrants an opportunity to learn more about the local law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
Mitchell says many immigrants come from countries where police are not trusted or respected because they are corrupt or ineffective. He hopes the workshops will show local immigrants his department is responsive and will lead to a good relationship with their communities.

At a news conference announcing the program, RPD Chief Jim Franklin said, “It is very important that everyone in our community feels safe and aware of the numerous resources and services available to them. Through our partnership with many great entities and organizations, we are pleased to offer these workshops.”

The workshops will be held next month.