Rochester Police using a new approach to connect with young residents

Created: November 09, 2019 11:16 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The Rochester Police Department’s latest program, Badges & Board games is creating positive interactions between the department and local youth.

“It’s all about community connectedness, reaching out to the youth within this community and engaging them; really building those relationships,” said RPD Chief Jim Franklin.


After the games are finished, the board games are sent home with the kids. They were donated by several companies, including Chip Theory Games, a board game publisher based out of Plymouth, Minnesota.

“We love to jump at the opportunities to teach the games to anyone and everyone that wants to learn how to play games because we understand the value of playing board games,” said Adam Carlson with Chip Theory Games. “It’s all about bringing the games back to the table and spending time with people.”

“Oftentimes, if you think about it, cops only have contact with people in times of crisis or in times of enforcement, or negative enforcement if you will. This is an opportunity to engage the public at a time of non-crisis, non-enforcement, in a great environment to help foster those relationships moving forward,” Franklin said.

“The whole goal when we opened D6 games was to try to bring the community together. There’s been bad publicity through the news with the officers and all that stuff. We wanted to show people that, hey, we’re all a community; we’re here for one thing. Let’s just build it together and enjoy each other,” said Chris Fursa, owner of D6 Games, where the event was held.

Chief Franklin says the interactions are important because after all, the youth are the future of our community.

“One of my hopes is to aspire some of these kids to become police officers in the future, so we’re starting our recruiting effort now,” Franklin said.

Rochester law enforcement, fire, and EMS services all took part.

Along with the board games, officers and kids also enjoyed pizza donated by Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria Rochester.

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