Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The public is invited to attend a forum this week to check out the three finalists for Rochester police chief. One is from a town about the size of Winona, another hails from Minneapolis and the third currently works for the PD in the Big D.

Perhaps the most interesting candidate is Roy Alston.

Dallas PD
Dallas PD

He’s a lieutenant with the Dallas Police Dept where he is in charge of its Community Engagement Unit (Northeast Patrol Division). Alston is a West Point grad who served in Operation Desert Storm. He became a Dallas cop in 2003 and later earned a PhD in management. According to the Dallas Morning News, Alston was among five researchers who were selected by the US Justice Dept to examine “the actions of law enforcement in the first 16 days after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.”  The teen was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, MO in 2014.

The candidate from Minneapolis is Capt James Franklin, who oversees the West Command Division of the Metropolitan Transit Police.

Jim Franklin

His unit’s patrol area includes downtown St. Paul, the University of Minnesota campus,TCF Bank Stadium and Xcel Energy Center. He also worked as a police officer in Plymouth and the West Hennepin Public Safety Department.



The third candidate is Mark Elliot, the police chief of Prior Lake, a town of 26,000 in the southwest Metro.

Mark Elliot

He was named chief there in 2015 after working as a Bloomington officer for 21 years. He was a finalist a year ago for the police chief job in St. Louis Park, a Twin Cities suburb. He has a BS degree in police science (St Mary’s University).

The community forum is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Center in Suites 102 and 103 on the main level.

Chief Roger Peterson plans to retire later this month. Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede could appoint a successor before he leaves.


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