ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Rochester City Hall dome shined blue Wednesday night, paying tribute to fallen officers across the country, their families, as well as to thank active law enforcement for their courage and dedication to making our communities safe.
During National Police Week, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are honoring officers who died in the line of duty and being recognized for their vital role in the community.
In a statement, Mayor Norton said, “It is important that we let our community know the essential and vital role that the Rochester Police Department plays safeguarding our lives and property despite personal risk every time an officer puts on the uniform.”
At any given moment, a crisis can erupt without warning, but when the call comes in, you can count on officers to be there.
“You never know what you’re going to get into,” said Brian Roussell, an officer with the Rochester Police Dept. “One day I can come in and there are five medical calls and that’s all I have to deal with, the next could be we’re call to call to call with assaults. Nothing is ever certain.”
The job is dangerous and demanding. Each day, full of uncertainties.
“Fear is a big part of our job but it’s also what pushes us through our call as well. With our training, we’re really good at turning that fear into a positive. It helps us more than it inhibits us,” Roussell said.
But he’s never alone — he and his K9 partner are trained to respond to potential explosives like bomb threats or suspicious packages.
Roussell says it’s an honor and privilege to wear the badge.
“My uncle was in law enforcement so it’s kind of a family thing as well for me, so I guess there’s a legacy thing in it with me, it was something I knew I wanted to do since I was very young,” he said.
Officer Carrie Hartley also knew she wanted to go into law enforcement at a young age.
“I had cancer when I was a kid and was given a limited amount of time to live, so once I lived through my cancer diagnosis, I knew I had to give back, that there was a reason that I was left here,” said Hartley.
Officer Hartly was only 15 years old at the time.
“I think that is probably one of the greatest gifts that this job gives me is, I do have the ability to help and to change lives. Having the ability to go out and just make a small change, or an adjustment in somebody’s attitude,” said Hartley.