Fire & Police Commission

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

The three new faces, Jim Powers, Lorayne Logan and Henrietta Dotson-Williams, have the immediate task of selecting a new police chief. On Thursday, the newly appointed commissioners will have their first meeting.

"Our crime index rate in Rockford is unacceptable, and it is something we must do something about. The "how" of that is up to the chief, and that's what we'll be listening for...as I see it, a credible plan to harness those 298 sworn officers," says Powers.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former city employee Jim Powers says the commissioners won't be rushed to make a decision.

"Chief Pugh has indicated that he'll be departing on the 1st of November, but I would not compromise on our doing a good job of selecting his replacement by rushing to have that person by that date. If we had to we could get along with an acting chief," says Powers.

Lorayne Logan, president of staffing firm, "The Workplace," says she believes it's best to recruit from a widely spread net.

"Whoever is selection comes away feeling that he or she was a really, really solid choice if you recruited widely. So I'm pretty in favor of looking inside the department and outside the department," say Logan.

Logan isn't a stranger to recruiting. In the 1970's she served as an equal opportunity officer for Rockford’s police department, helping bring women and minorities to the force. Logan says she adheres to the broken windows theory and hopes the next chief will as well.

"Clearly we're not the chief, so we're not going to set the philosophy. But that is a philosophy I would hope to see in a candidate," says Logan.

The controversy that swirled around the nominees was eased last night with city council's approval and now the commissioners says it's time to move on and tackle the issues at hand.


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