Rochester Police Department breaks down training techniques

Jaclyn Harold
Created: June 04, 2020 06:59 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Following George Floyd's death, the world has had to address hard topics like racism and police brutality.

With protests across the United States and even in other countries, communities are calling to law enforcement to look at the way they train their officers.


"That was disturbing watching that because I can't believe they have ever been trained that way either," said Sgt. Paul Gronholz. Gronholz is the training sergeant for new recruits with the Rochester Police Department.

Gronholz said training techniques are always evolving, and the department is dedicated to looking at ways to deescalate situations so that force isn't needed.

"We actually already changed the way we train for control tactics. What you saw in the George Floyd video, knee on neck has never been trained here," said Gronholz.

The video of Floyd handcuffed with former officer Derek Chauvin's  knee to his neck, has caused many to ask where the line between necessary and excessive force is drawn.

"Officers would control a person with knees on the back, on their back, upper back in order to control and get to a good handcuffing position. We have transitioned now to where knees are now lower. Knee on a hip to control a torso, keep the torso down to restrain movement of an individual," said Gronholz.

Officers deal with a number of threats, and have split seconds to make decisions that could result in harm to them or someone else.

Gronholz said regardless, the goal at RPD is to see everyone make it home safely. 

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