Why the Police and Fire Commission Isn't Getting Involved in the PD Dispute

A police car stands at the scene of a shooting at Gates Ave. and Throop Ave. early Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Earlier in the evening, police responding to a 911 call fatally shot a teenager who charged at them with what they thought was a gun but later turned out to be a hair brush. (AP Photo/Gary He)
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The main purpose of the Rockford Police and Fire Commission is to hire, promote and discipline. But they can only discipline members of police or fire departments if there's been a formal complaint filed with the board.

Commission Secretary Brendan Maher (non-voting member) says there has not been a formal complaint made against Chief Chet Epperson. However the Police Union has taken a no confidence vote and asked for his resignation. Some members don't like how Epperson is enforcing the rules, but Maher says that's not enough to remove the chief.

"The events of last night the events of the no confidence vote none of those things really directly involve bringing charges to the commission," he says.

Maher says any regular citizen could file a formal complaint against a member of the police or fire department. But that person must have strong evidence that there's misconduct. Which Maher says while many people don't like Epperson, it doesn't mean there's misconduct being done by the Chief.

Epperson is out of town for a conference. Our calls to his cell phone were not returned. Rockford aldermen announced last night they'll meet to discuss this ongoing battle with both the Police Union and Chief by the end of the month.

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