RPD recognized with award for involvement in driver’s education mentoring program

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Police Department (RPD) was recognized and presented with an award at the statewide law enforcement conference last week.

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association presented RPD with a 2022 Excellence in Innovation Award for the department’s involvement in the driver’s education mentoring program with Rochester Public Schools (RPS).

RPD officers serve as mentors for students participating in a program offering driver’s education to RPS students who historically have not had access.

RPD said getting a driver’s license is often viewed as a rite of passage, but it is one that some teens never get to experience because multiple barriers – such as financial expense, limited vehicle access and lack of mentorship – get in the way. As a result, some students resort to driving illegally, which makes it even harder to obtain a driver’s license later on.