State and city leaders meet across Rochester to discuss key legislation

State and city leaders met across Rochester to discuss key legislation

Saturday was a busy day in the Med City, with officials discussing issues that could affect Minnesotan's every day lives. From fentanyl to School Resource Officers.

(ABC 6 News) – It was a busy day in the Med City, with officials discussing issues that could affect Minnesotan’s every day lives; from fentanyl to School Resource Officers.

“Public safety is obviously a very serious topic, and every year there’s legislation coming forward that’s either good or bad for law enforcement and public safety,” said David Titus, President of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. “The task of the MPPOA is to monitor, promote, and help explain why other bills are bad.”

The hottest topics from Saturday morning’s session; School Resource Officers and the poor retention rates within police departments around the state.

“We’re in crisis, for recruitment and retention; many men and women were hired back in the 90’s, myself included, we call them Clinton cops. Well, we’re now at the 30 year mark, so we’re getting ready to retire,” said Titus.

He goes on to say, “it’s not as sought after as a profession, so there aren’t many candidates out there; and we’re having mass retirement over the next decade. We need to find the next cop.”

On the other side of town, US Senator Amy Klobuchar met with the Rochester Police Department, sharing concerns over the growing fentanyl crisis.

According to RPD, just last year 10 people died from fentanyl overdoses, but even one death is too many.

“One pill kills. It’s something kids can remember, because sometimes they unknowingly think they’re getting a Percocet from a friend or off the internet, and they don’t know what’s in it,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “Increasingly we’re seeing pills laced with fentanyl that are killing kids in this community, and across the country.”

In 2023, RPD seized 48,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. They say just one pill has the potential to cause a fatal overdose.

“Making sure we’ve got narcan and funding treatment and response programs, and public education is once again, coming back in such a big way as a piece of this,” said Klobuchar. “Because there’s so many people that take overdoses, or get really sick, and they didn’t really know what they were taking.”

The Minnesota State Legislature is in session for 120 days.