Police invite public to open house

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 27, 2015


ROCHESTER — Rochester police are giving community members an inside look at the force during the department’s annual open house June 6.

The free event — held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the department, 400 Sixth St. — will feature tours, demonstrations and events for the whole family.

“It’s just a fun day to see everything that the Police Department does,” Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm said. “It’s a full experience of everything that happens here at the Police Department.”

Free bicycle helmets for children of all ages, helmet fittings, and bicycle safety checks will return for the eighth annual event, which Schettenhelm said is always a big hit. Police encourage kids to bring their bicycles and participate in a bike rodeo obstacle course that will test their bicycle safety skills after their bikes have been deemed safe.

“It’s a great way to kick off the summer bike season and get everyone a bike helmet and a safe bike,” Schettenhelm explained.

Parents can have their child’s car seat inspected to make sure it was installed correctly, or they can have officers install a seat. Parents can also take home a child identification kit.

Adults and kids alike can take a guided tour of the Police Department to see the 911 dispatch center and the lockup area. People can drop off unwanted prescriptions, check out the firearms display or see an evidence collection demonstration.

People can also check out police cars, watch a police motorcycle demonstration and check out an Oakland County Homeland Security helicopter.

“The helicopter has always been a big hit with the kids,” Schettenhelm said. “They enjoy being able to come in and climb on the helicopter.”

Rochester City Manager Jaymes Vettraino said the police open house is a great opportunity for the public to get a hands-on tour of the department and to meet the officers.

“Rochester’s Police Department employees are a group of dedicated individuals who take pride in their job and community. It is exciting to me that everyone who visits the open house will get the chance to get a better understanding of the department’s commitment to our community,” he said.

The Rochester Police Department is responsible for all police services within the 3.8-square-mile boundaries of the city. The department has 21 sworn officers — including detectives, command officers, road patrol officers and school liaison officers — as well as its own dispatch center with five dispatchers who answer the phones around the clock.