President John DeBettignies welcomed members back to Roosevelt park for another outdoor meeting. Deputy Chief of Richfield Police, Mike Flaherty joined Richfield Rotary for a great overview of RPD’s current operations as well as the response and action plan that followed the death of George Floyd and the unrest in Minneapolis.  (Read more)
Deputy Chief Flaherty joined Richfield Rotary for the meeting on September 17th and reported on the current state of the Richfield Police Department and the slight increases they have seen in crime over the last year. Based on a 5-year average, Richfield has seen an 11% increase in crime through June of 2020. Some examples of these increases are the 61 Burglaries and 70 Vehicle Thefts in Richfield through June where the 5-year average is only 55 and 37 per year, respectively.
Richfield PD has 46 officers on staff; including 8 female officers and 11 officers of color; as well as multiple community service officers working to become a police officer. During the weeks after the death of George Floyd, RPD had 30 officers on the streets to keep Richfield citizens and businesses safe; during this time there were 12 reported burglaries in Richfield but RPD was able to thwart many more crimes due to the vigilant Richfield residents’ reports and their enhanced presence on the streets. Throughout those weeks, the department incurred over $46,000 in overtime pay for the selfless officers.
DC Flaherty also commented on the Use of Force data that is being closely watched by both their department. Over the 2-year period of 2017 & 2018, RPD responded to over 80,000 calls and used force for 136 of those calls: deeming any form of restraining a citizen as use of force. He didn’t have the exact numbers with him but said the numbers regarding race that made up the 136 use of force cases were fairly even for black or white offenders at about 60 each with other ethnicities making up the remaining cases. RPD will be getting body cameras in early 2021 and many of the officers are excited for the extra data the cameras provide.
In closing, DC Flaherty advised that we all be aware of our surroundings and call 911 for any suspicious activity. If you appreciate RPD or your local police department, contact the city council members to voice your support. If you have any complaints or concerns with RPD officers, call DC Flaherty so he can address any issues immediately.