Public Take on Police Feud

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

"Mr. Mayor, I am requesting that you call for Chief Epperson's job as chief of police."
That's a Rockford detective speaking Tuesday night at Rockford's city council. The call for resignation was the police union's boldest move since voting no confidence in Chief Chet Epperson by 276 votes to six in mid-September. But we wanted to know do the people of Rockford have confidence in their chief. Do you feel he's improved our city in his year and a half on the job?
"I believe the chief needs to be ousted, along with some of the officers. Look at all the murders we got, these people running around with AK47s, no we not safe," says West Rockford resident Christina Troupe.
Phillip Williams lives in a Weed and Seed area. He says, "Last year I got shot in my arm so I really don't feel safe. Feels the same way it did in 2000, so it's really no difference."
But in the Coronado Haskell Weed and Seed area, many people are thanking Chief Epperson, saying he's helped reduce drugs and violence on their streets.
"It has been getting safer to us because there's been a lot of police control around here late at night. We had a nice a summer over here. My son got to come out and play with not having to be out here watching every minute and every second," says Coronado Haskell resident Jasmine Robinson.
We also wanted to know if people care about what the union and chief are fighting over.
East Rockford resident Galen Garnett says, "It's important to everybody. You live here you want to feel safe in your own neighborhood and town. My family members are on the force. They're not very happy with him."
But Robinson counters, "They really should just be doing their job and shouldn't worry about each other."
We have received several e-mails lately from Epperson supporters who say they feel safer with him running the department. Mayor Larry Morrissey has also stood firmly by the chief. Morrissey says crime is down under Epperson and he deserves to keep his job.


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