ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- After years of planning, the Rockford Police Department's geo-policing initiative is off the ground; officers hit their beats in District 2 for the first time on Sunday.
Officers say the first shifts went smoothly; they're adjusting to their new 12 hour schedule and their assignments. Most of the officers have worked together before and that's the goal for this pilot district...for everyone from the sergeants to the detectives to the patrol officers to work alongside one another on a consistent basis. That way, they'll be a stronger team when it comes to deal tackling crime in District 2. That district covers sections East of the river, including Broadway and 11th Street. One of the primary goals of geo-policing is to create better relationships between neighbors and the police patrolling their neighborhoods.
“There is no way the police department can accomplish the mission of reducing crime and improving the quality of life in this city on our own,” says Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann, the leader of the pilot police district. “We need partners, we need the community engaged, we need neighborhood groups so then we can work together as a team to address those issues and bring the crime rates down and improve that quality of life."
There are around 65 officers in the pilot police district. They’re currently working out of separate offices in the Public Safety Building. The goal is to move into a headquarters located in District 2 in the next year. Assistant Deputy Pann says he is meeting with the mayor and council in the next few weeks to discuss possible locations.