City Aldermen Share Their Thoughts, Excitement About New Police Chief

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In his nine years as Rockford's 9th Ward Aldermen, Bill Timm has seen three police chiefs come and go, and says the biggest thing for the incoming top cop is time to get transitioned.

"We have to allow the police chief to get settled, to understand Rockford, to take a look at different neighborhoods. Neighborhood policing is giong to be one of the top issues," Timm said.

Timm believes David Purdy - who will leave his post as U.S. State Department adviser in Jamaica to lead Rockford's department - enters with strong crime prevention ideas. However, he and other aldermen agree the biggest challenge will be putting those ideas into practice.

"I hope he's very helpful in helping me organize more neighborhood groups. I don't want to call them neighborhood watch groups anymore. I want to call them neighborhood organizations, so they can intercommunicate when there are problems," 4th Ward Alderman Carl Wasco said.

4th Ward Aldermen Carl Wasco says while each ward is different, he believes Purdy will find out most Rockford residents want the same thing - an active police force which shows results.

"The biggest issues in my area are speed, people running stop signs. The Rockford police department has been responsive and solved the problem," Wasco

Aldermen Timm, meanwhile, hopes the new chief will focus on fighting crime at the grassroots level - with more cops working the neighborhoods, and partnering with neighbors.

"If you see that officer in the area, it makes a real big difference. This is what people pay taxes for, and they expect this," Timm said.

Big hopes and expectations, as Rockford's new top cop prepares to take over a police department, and win the hearts and minds of the city council.