Little Facts, Few Answers

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Some are saying a public forum about outsourcing the Roscoe Police Department was premature. Others think there is something sneaky going on. But some of the decision makers are taking heed to one recommendation.

Roscoe residents came into this public forum expecting concrete numbers but Village President Ward Sterett says those figures don't exist.

Sterett says, “This has nothing to do with quality of the police force."

What residents already know is the Roscoe Police Department has unionized. There are 12 full-time officers keeping them safe. What they don't know is what life would be like if the Winnebago County Sheriffs Department was patrolling, but it isn't an idea Sheriff Richard Meyers is ready to explore.

Meyers stated, "As Sheriff I am not comfortable at the pace that this is moving, with the fact that you have elections in April. I don’t think this is the best interest of anyone to address this issue at this point in time."

Sheriff Meyers told residents outsourcing right now would be “risky business.” Sterett says he's taking that recommendation to heart. As it stands now Roscoe and the Police Union haven't even started contract negotiations. The biggest reason officers even joined a union was to get a raise and fight for better benefits.

Roscoe Police Chief Don Wilder says, "I think it should be raised up to be comparable with other communities our size in the area at this time we are below other departments."

It will ultimately be up to the village board to decide how much these officers are worth. If Roscoe decides to outsource with Winnebago County, Sheriff Meyers says the number one goal would be to hire Roscoe Police.


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