Not only were 18 peopled sworn in and 2 people were promoted but we also got to find out how Rockford ranks. The 2005 statistics show that our crime rate continues to go down. Rockford now has the third highest crime rate in the state. But for the past 4 years we've occupied the number one and number 2 spots. Even though homicides, burglary and theft remain high, overall our crime rate is heading in the right direction. Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says police are focused on looking at who is causing the problems. Epperson says, "We're going to add proactive things on the theft side so once we get an operational plan together we'll roll it out. That's one area that we have to target is our thefts cause right now they are far too many."
The new faces of the department include both men and women. This new class means that the Rockford Police Department is almost operating at full strength. 310 people are on the force and only 2 positions remain vacant. What's unique about the new class is that 5 of the 18 people who were sworn-in were women. The women believe that being a police officer is not just a man's job anymore but still believe that they have more to prove.
Officer Katy Kreitzmann who graduated from Hononegah High School says, "That just comes along with the job. You just have to show to everyone that you're going to be right there to support them on whatever call you have to do. Sometimes we have to earn it but that's okay. I'm ready for the challenge."
The new officers come to Rockford from places like Alabama and Atlanta. Most made the move in order to be back home here in Rockford.