Homeland Security

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Homeland security continues to be a top concern for officials across the country and right here in Winnebago County.

Some Rockford leaders say the federal government isn't giving cities all the help they need to prevent terrorism.

Rockford's mayor and police chief will be in Washington D.C. next week, for the mayors conference, and they're using the opportunity to ask congress for more money to fight terrorism and to improve the federal alert system.

When the U.S. Attorney General issued a code orange terror alert earlier this month, Rockford emergency response officials found out the way most Americans did.

"Four days after it was issued, we got a fax in the city from the state homeland security office saying the alert had been issued. But of course we already heard in the media three days before,” says Mayor Doug Scott.

"The truth of the matter, my daughter told me about it. She was watching the news and told me about it,” says Rockford Police Chief Jeff Nielsen.

Chief Nielsen and the mayor say the terror alert system needs some work.

"Should we adjust our security is there a specific target, most of the time there's zero info on this,” says Mayor Scott.

But the alert system is just one of the issues Rockford officials will take to Washington next week.

"There’s been talking of funding for a year now, but quite frankly it hasn't made it down to the locals and when we're talking about additional training that gets into overtime dollars,” says Chief Nielsen.

Mayor Scott says he will also address economic and housing concerns with Illinois lawmakers and federal officials.