Garbage, gangs, and graffiti are the top priorities for Rockford's new Police Chief Chet Epperson and he says the cops aren't the only ones you'll see out in the neighborhoods.
Epperson committed to the city because this is home. He grew up here, has worked here, and plans to retire here, and while he has big ideas for the department he's not going to rush in and change things and risk loosing everyone.
Epperson's appointment didn't come without some drama. The commission originally looked outside the department because it wanted new blood, but Epperson says it didn't need to leave the department to get new ideas.
But he understands change is hard and not everyone is going to embrace it. His first big decision will be filling his old vacancy as deputy chief of administration. He says it will set the tone of his administration. He also wants to change the way the police department does business. He says it's time for community policing, and he wants city leader, officers and most importantly citizens to come together a create a strategic plan.
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